The incredible impact of our collective voice – vaping position statement in Cheshire and Merseyside

What happened?

Last week, Cheshire and Merseyside’s Directors of Public Health engaged in a major piece of media work to call for a country-wide ban on the sale of disposable vapes by publishing a joint position statement.

The statement specifically condemned the targeting of children by tobacco companies, who are being enticed by clever marketing tricks and being set up for a life-long smoking habit, calling this behaviour ‘disgraceful’.

The statement also warned against the environmental impact of disposable plastic vapes and as well as a ban on the sale of disposable vapes, also called for greater regulation and licensing of the sale of vapes and other preventative measures.

You can read the full statement here.


The impact

The statement was released to media on Tuesday 20th June and was immediately picked up by a number of outlets, locally, nationally and even internationally.

The story was covered by BBC North West TV, BBC Radio Merseyside, BBC Radio Manchester and was featured on the BBC News website. BBC News in Lancashire were also inspired to produce a story focusing on a 19-year-old, who started using vapes when she was 16 and claims they have ruined her life.

Many local media outlets picked up the story, including Liverpool Echo, Warrington Guardian and Chester’s Dee Radio, as well as many trade publications, mostly focusing on the dental and retail industries. Some US-based outlets also covered the story.

The statement also inspired Directors of Public Health from other areas, including the East Midlands, to join the conversation and produce their own similar position statement.


Thank you

The development of the statement was a team effort, with many local leads and experts inputting into the content alongside Directors of Public Health, as well local authority Chief Executives putting their stamp of approval on the letter.

Local communications teams played a vital role in getting the story out to their local media, which built momentum, whilst also sharing across their social media channels.

Many other partners from local, regional and national organisations also shared the statement amongst their networks to amplify the message as much as possible.

Thank you to everyone who had a part to play in this work!


Next steps

Directors of Public Health will continue to monitor the situation and identify opportunities to continue to advocate for a country-wide ban of disposable vapes, for the sake of young people and the environment. As other areas have also followed suit and released similar statements, this is much more likely to happen and demonstrates the impact that speaking as one collective voice can provide.

As well as this, Directors of Public Health in Cheshire and Merseyside have asked for a strategic review on tobacco policy and strategy in the subregion, which will include the use of vapes, and have commissioned Julie Webster, former Director of Public Health for Wirral, to conduct this review. Further updates on this work will be available in Collaborate, our stakeholder newsletter.