Cheshire and Merseyside’s Directors of Public Health, working together as the Champs Public Health Collaborative, have published a response to recent reports that the UK government is planning to ban single use vapes. The full response is below.
We are encouraged by the news that the government is considering a ban of single use vapes. In our joint statement, released on 20th June 2023, we called for a ban of single use vapes to protect our children from the aggressive marketing and advertising strategies from tobacco companies, like selling flavours named after sweets. These tactics can result in children and young people becoming addicted to nicotine and due to a lack of regulation, it is not always known what is in these vapes. As well as this, we were also concerned about the harm disposable vapes were doing to our environment, with recent reports showing that a staggering five million disposable vapes are being thrown away each week in the UK.
As Directors of Public Health, we understand and appreciate the positive impact vaping has for those who use them as a stop-smoking tool and would encourage anyone who is ready to give up smoking to consider non-disposable vapes, but we are absolutely agreed that this ban on disposable vapes is the right thing to do.
We continue to endorse the advice from England’s Chief Medical Officer, Sir Chris Whitty: “If you smoke, vaping is much safer. If you don’t smoke, don’t vape.”
We look forward to seeing this policy progress, as well as further government action on this important agenda, and we would encourage our partners and communities to actively support the government in this positive action to help our young people grow up to live longer and healthier lives, protected from harm.