Under-18s to be banned from buying e-cigarettes
28th January 2014
e-cigarettesThe government has announced it is pressing ahead with plans to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to those under the age of 18. E-cigarettes are used by around 1.3 million people in the UK, intended to resemble a traditional cigarette. Liquid nicotine is converted into a mist, or vapour, that the user inhales – simulating the process of smoking. As the devices emit a smoke-like water vapour, this has led to the term ‘vaping’ being commonly referred to for their use. Smoking rates have dropped, but there are huge concerns that the e-cigarettes could be helping to encourage youngsters to begin smoking who previously never had, critics arguing they are a gateway to nicotine addiction and there needs to be further research into the impact on our health. “We do not yet know the harm that e-cigarettes can cause to adults let alone to children, but we do know they are not risk- free,” England's Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies commented in a statement. She continued: “E-cigarettes can produce toxic chemicals and the amount of nicotine and other chemical constituents and contaminants, including vaporised flavourings, varies between products - meaning they could be extremely damaging to young people's health.” The fact remains though that they have become so popular that some are under the belief the market for e-cigarettes could grow bigger than that for traditional cigarettes. Last year mark consultant Euromonitor estimated the global market for e-cigarettes to be worth over $2 billion (£1.2 billion). The banning of the sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s will be introduced as early as next week as an amendment to the Children and Families Bill. In a further crackdown on smoking, ministers are also formulating plans to stop adults purchasing regular cigarettes for under-18s. Any adults found guilty of disobeying this particular law may be hit with a £50 fixed penalty notice or could be fined up to an amount of £2,500. The laws follow Department of Health statistics showing 41% of 15-year-olds who smoke admit to acquiring their cigarettes from others instead of trying to purchase them from a shop. Furthermore, an incredible 95% of 11 - 15-year-olds who smoke say someone else has bought cigarettes for them from a shop in the previous year. Public Health Minister and Conservative MP Jane Ellison said: “Two thirds of smokers say they smoked regularly before they were 18, showing that this is an addiction largely taken up in childhood. We must do all we can to help children lead a healthy life. That's why this measure is designed to help protect children from the dangers of being bought cigarettes by irresponsible adults - something that I hope concerned parents and responsible retailers will welcome.” It seems completely quitting smoking altogether and not just reverting to e-cigarettes would be the safest option for smokers. Fortunately, Medical Specialists Pharmacy is able to help you quit smoking with the aid of the smoking cessation medication Champix, which mimics the effect of nicotine on the body, reducing the urge to smoke and relieving withdrawal symptoms. It can also decrease the enjoyment you experience of smoking if you are still smoking whilst on the treatment.