Credit: WHAS

In response to growing concerns about youth nicotine addiction, UK ministers are reportedly exploring additional measures to regulate vaping, particularly focusing on curbing the appeal of e-cigarettes to children.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has consistently raised apprehensions about the marketing and design of these products, emphasizing colorful packaging and sweeteners that attract young people. Potential measures being considered include restricting vape flavors to options such as tobacco, mint, menthol, and fruit.

However, ministers are cautious about the potential impact on adult smokers who use vaping as a cessation tool. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly alarmed by the use of sweeter flavors like “candyfloss” in targeting children, according to the Times.

The government is expected to announce its response to a consultation on child protection from vaping, as data indicates that one in five children has experimented with e-cigarettes, despite being illegal for those under 18. Legislation to enforce stricter regulations was promised in the previous year’s King’s Speech.

While a decision on flavor restrictions may be deferred, a proposal to ban disposable vapes could be introduced under existing environmental legislation. The Department of Health emphasizes the clarity of health advice on vaping, emphasizing its role in aiding adult smokers to quit but discouraging its use among non-smokers and children.

Dr. Sarah Jackson from UCL’s Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care warns against a blanket ban on disposable e-cigarettes, suggesting it could impact approximately 2.6 million users in England, Wales, and Scotland.

She underscores the need to encourage current and former smokers to use disposables to transition to other e-cigarette options rather than reverting to traditional tobacco smoking in the event of a ban. Further details on regulatory measures are expected to be outlined in the coming months.

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