Experts call for e-cig curbs to stop child vaping

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Experts have called for tougher curbs on e-cigarette marketing after a survey found children were increasingly being exposed to displays in shops.

They want vaping products put out of sight from minors.

Two-thirds of teens aged 11 to 18 said they had seen vapes in supermarkets last year, up from 57 percent in 2018.

The proportion who had seen tobacco products on sale fell from 67 to 59 percent.

Research leader Dr Anthony Laverty, from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, said: “These results highlight high levels of exposure to tobacco and e-cigarettes among children as well as ease of access.

“There needs to be greater enforcement of existing laws on the display of tobacco, as well as action to stem e-cigarette advertising and put vapes out of sight and reach of children.”

It is illegal to sell vapes to under-18s, but NHS figures for 2021 showed nearly 10 percent of 11 to 15-year-olds had used them.

The team at Imperial analysed data from Action on Smoking and Health. It showed that 43 percent of children who used e-cigarettes obtained them from small shops, 17 percent bought them online and 12 percent at supermarkets.

Study co-author Prof Nicholas Hopkinson, from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial, said an excise tax should be introduced on disposable vapes “to stop them being available at pocket money prices”.

Vaping is far less harmful than smoking, but the health impacts are not yet fully understood. The research was funded by Cancer Research UK and published in the journal Tobacco Control.

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