Ban on flavoured vapes and tax hike considered

by | Nov 7, 2023 | Health

Getty ImagesBy Nick TriggleHealth correspondentFruit flavours may be banned and extra taxes applied to e-cigarettes, in a crackdown on vaping aimed at children.Legislation to allow tighter restrictions was promised in the King’s Speech, earlier on Tuesday.The move, which could apply to the whole of the UK, could also see vapes having to be hidden from view in shops and plain packaging introduced.And, as promised last month, ministers will also be looking to raise the age of sale for smoking.The idea is to raise the age at which tobacco products can be bought by a year every year from 2027.It would mean those currently aged under 15 could never buy cigarettes or tobacco legally.Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the policy a month ago – but he has promised MPs a free vote on the issue.High lead and nickel levels found in illegal vapesHow dangerous is vaping – and why the concern over young vapers?The proportion of 11- to 17-year-olds who vape has doubled in the past two years, to 7.6%.And the government is currently consulting on measures to tackle the rise in youth vaping.But the King’s Speech, setting out the government’s priorities for the next year, revealed legislation would be brought forward to push through a tightening of the rules once the consultation had finished.Measures being considered include:restricting how vapes are describedlimiting flavours to tobacco or tobacco and mint onlybanning displays in shops, so vapes remain hidden, as is the case for cigarettesintroducing plain packaging, to stop the use of cartoons and animal charactersbanning the use of disposable vapesIntroducing a new tax on e-cigarettes is also proposed – value added tax (VAT) is already applied – to make vapes more expensive.It is currently three times cheaper to vape than smoke – although, the consultation has urged careful consideration as vapes are also an important tool to help smokers quit, as they carry a fraction of the risk.Hazel Cheeseman, from the Action on Smoking and Health campaign group, welcomed the move.”Vapes have been a valuable aid to help smokers quit – but vaping has been growing among teens,” she said. “Further regulations are needed to ensure products are not promoted or sold to teens.”Ms Cheeseman also backed the idea of an extra tax on vapes, to reduce their affordability for teenagers, but added it was important they remained “cheaper than lethal tobacco products”.Related TopicsSmokingVapingRelated Internet LinksUsing e-cigarettes to stop smoking – NHSStop smoking treatments – NHSThe BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. …

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