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Concerns from the Blackpool health director regarding the rise in youth e-cigarette use nationally

Dr. Arif Rajpura is particularly concerned that local Blackpool schools are signalling an increase in usage as a long-term tendency.

According to the most recent data from the ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) study, 15.8% of 11–17-year-olds in Britain had tried vaping, compared to 11.2% in 2021 and 13.9% in 2020, and 7% of those in the same age range were current users, compared to 3.3% in 2021 and 4.1 per dent in 2020.

Dr. Rajpura concurs with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) recommendation that e-cigarette use should be avoided in children, adolescents, and young adults who do not smoke.

He said: “It was concerning to learn from early discussions with local schools about the ASH statistics that many pointed to an increase in the use of these items by children and young people.

“To understand the local situation in Blackpool, we are awaiting the findings of a survey from the Schools and Students Health Education Unit (SHEU). The council has also commissioned additional local community work with Healthwatch to obtain more detailed information.

“E-cigarettes are an age-restricted product because there is a chance that users will develop a nicotine addiction. Particularly for individuals who have never smoked, vaping is not a risk-free option, and the long-term implications of vaping on health are not unknown.

Vaping should be avoided, and it’s crucial for families, guardians, and schools to support this message. However, more research is needed on this topic.

“Locally, we support schools’ safeguarding policies and provide full personal, social, and health education assistance around schooling for children and young people.”

Dr. Rajpura further underlined that it is illegal for anybody to sell cigarettes or vape items containing nicotine or tobacco to people under the age of 18 or to make purchases on their behalf. Blackpool Trading Standards in the resort and Lancashire Treading Standards in Fylde and Wyre are in charge of enforcing the regulations regarding sales to minors, the selling of unlawful goods, and point-of-sale advertising.

Owner of the Let’s Go Vape shop in St Annes, Debra Challinor, said age verification is a crucial component of the service and that the industry is very tightly regulated.

According to her, “all legitimate specialty vaping businesses adhere to very tight laws that have been in place for a while.”

“We always verify ages and firmly reject anyone who is younger than 18.” Since there are such severe fines, it simply isn’t worth the risk for a corporation.

“It may be true that stores where e-cigarettes are only one of the products they sell are less tight, but our advise is always to utilise specialty stores where the laws are properly observed.”
Blackpool complaints should be sent to [email protected], and information about Lancashire may be found at www.lancashire.gov.uk.

The Advertising Standards Authority should be notified of any additional complaints regarding advertising, including those on social media (ASA).

Visit www.healthierblackpool.co.uk/smokefree for further information and details on the Blackpool Smokefree helpline and services for smokers and vapers.

Ref: https://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/health/blackpool-health-directors-concern-over-national-increase-in-vaping-among-young-people-3938533

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