UK Doctor Says Vaping has Become an ‘Epidemic’
Vice-president of policy for the Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health, Dr Mike McKean, claims that aping in the UK has reached epidemic proportions.
“This is a problem the UK should take seriously. Walk past a school at closing time and you’ll see what happens – large numbers of children vaping,” said McKean as quoted by The Guardian. “That’s huge amounts of children spending money on products that are not cheap, and they’re inhaling chemicals we don’t know the long-term effects of. There can be large amounts of nicotine, especially in vapes from overseas, and children are becoming addicted to a drug.
Meanwhile, in order to tackle the increase in disposable vapes amongst teens, U.K. ministers have been considering setting in place a new tax on vaping products. The considered proposals also include further regulations on packaging, marketing and flavours, however a total ban on disposable vapes is likely to be ruled out.
Politico reported that the proposals have been drawn up in response to the 2022 Khan review, which looked into whether the British government can make England smoke-free before 2030. Meanwhile, the UK’s smoking rates have dropped twice as fast as the ones across the rest of Europe, and just this month, the WVA named the UK as one of the tobacco harm reduction champions in the Tobacco Harm Reduction Policy Primer.
“The United Kingdom proves that lower smoking rates can be achieved with an open approach toward alternative nicotine products such as vaping. The high adoption of vaping due to broad political backing is why smoking rates decrease faster than in other countries. Vaping is not the problem. Knee-jerk reactions endanger all anti-smoking progress seen over the last years,” said Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance.
He added that the proposed measure will fall short of achieving its goal. “It is important to do everything we can to keep nicotine products out of adolescents’ hands, but policies must go further to the root of the problem. Simple bans and tax increases will only create an illicit market without any age or quality checks”, added Landl.