In response to the Government’s announcement yesterday on smoking and vaping, the Humber and North Yorkshire Centre for Excellence in Tobacco Control applauds the measures unveiled, marking a crucial milestone in combatting the smoking epidemic.
Scott Crosby, Associate Director at the Centre for Excellence in Tobacco Control, emphasised the significance of the developments, stating: “These announcements represent a vital step towards eradicating the smoking epidemic.
“The Government’s approach focuses on preventing smoking initiation, helping smokers in quitting effectively, and safeguarding children by restricting youth vaping. Smoking is the biggest cause of death and disease that you can control. Up to two in three of all life-long smokers will die early, losing on average about 10 years of life.”
1. Ban on disposable vapes
The Government has proposed a ban on disposable vapes, which have caused a surge in youth vaping and pose an environmental hazard. Child-targeted packaging and flavour names alongside pocket-friendly prices mean they have been widely used among young people who have never smoked. While challenges exist in implementing a ban, it is important that exemptions for healthcare professionals using vapes to support vulnerable smokers to quit are considered. Vaping is proven to be one of the most effective methods for supporting long-term smokers to stop using deadly tobacco.
2. New powers to regulate vape flavours and packaging
The announced measures include new powers to restrict vape flavours, introduce plain packaging, and modify how vapes are displayed in shops to deter appeal to children. Scott Crosby stressed: “These vital powers will control the design and promotion of e-cigarettes, preventing their appeal to children. Bright colours, sweet names, and cartoon characters are unacceptable for products meant solely for adult smokers trying to quit.”
3. Legislation on tobacco sales age
A groundbreaking law will make it illegal to sell tobacco products to individuals born on or after 1 January 2009. Supported by leading health organisations, this legislation aligns with the Prime Minister’s commitment to creating a smoke-free generation.
Scott Crosby reiterated: “The support from health partners across the Humber and North Yorkshire, underscores the urgency of ending smoking-related deaths and health inequalities. The proposed legislation to create a smoke-free generation through an annual increase in the age of tobacco sale has substantial public backing, with two-thirds of adults in Great Britain already in support.
“We’ve known for decades that smoking is a lethal addiction, it is unacceptable that it continues to claim thousands of lives each year. Smoking not only causes deaths but also exacerbates health inequalities, disproportionately affecting the poorest in society. We applaud the government’s bold proposal and call on every MP to support this once-in-a-generation Bill when presented to the UK Parliament.”