Tough new measures on disposable vapes are expected to come into force tomorrow, with the introduction of a government ‘enforcement squad’.
The government are expected to announce ‘bold new measures’ to help combat the rising levels of youth vaping, with full details due to be announced tomorrow (Tuesday 11 April) by Health Minister Neil O’Brien.
As part of the crackdown, a new ‘illicit vapes enforcement squad’ backed by £3 million of government funding will be brought in to enforce the rules on vaping, while also tackling illegal vapes and underage sales.
Working across the country, the squad will be led by Trading Standards and ‘share knowledge and intelligence across regional networks and local authorities’.
Alongside the enforcement squad, a ‘Call for Evidence’ is also being launched to identify opportunities to stop children vaping and reduce numbers of underage users.
It will also ensure vapes remain available for adult smokers as a ‘quit aid’.
O’Brien is due to outline the new measures in a speech at Policy Exchange tomorrow.
He said in a statement: “Smoking kills, so our priority is to prevent people smoking, and support them to quit. We remain committed to our ambition to be smoke-free by 2030.
“However, while vaping is a preferable alternative to smoking for adults, we are concerned about the rise in youth vaping, particularly the increasing use of disposable vaping products.
“The new illicit vapes enforcement squad will work across the country and clamp down on those businesses who sell vapes to children – which is illegal – and get them hooked on nicotine.
“Our Call for Evidence will also allow us to get a firm understanding of the steps we can take to reduce the number of children accessing and using vapes.”
According to a government press release, smoking prevalence in England in 2021 was 13.0 percent – the lowest on record – thanks to measures such as ‘doubling duty on cigarettes since 2010 and continued funding to local stop smoking services’.
“In 2021-22, £68 million of funding from the public health grant was spent on stop smoking services by local authorities, and nearly 100,000 people quit with the support of a stop smoking service,” it says.
“In addition, £35 million was committed to the NHS last year so that all smokers admitted to hospital will be offered NHS-funded tobacco treatment services.”
The news follows claims from a teenager in America who said vaping caused his lungs to collapse four times.
Last month, a 17-year-old from Texas was also hospitalised for weeks due to lung failure, with doctors saying his lungs were completely blocked up as a result of vaping.Featured Image Credit: dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo / Shutterstock