Vaping ? No thanks

E-cigarettes can carry serious risks, especially to the young, says the World Health Organization. We need to tighten up the regulations on their use.
Vaping has grown exponentially over the past decade. Vaping shops have proliferated along British high streets, the global market for vapes has increased 8,000-fold since 2016 and vape manufacturers sponsor football and Formula One teams.

Public health experts, including the World Health Organization, point to its dangers, for children and young people.

There is also growing evidence that e-cigarettes carry significant health risks. While they do not contain the dangerous tar of conventional cigarettes, they do contain nicotine, a highly addictive chemical with health risks. Some studies suggest it is associated with cardiac and neurological diseases and with negative impacts on brain development for children and young people. E-cigarettes could be associated with acute lung injuries; there are rare but terrible stories of young people who use vapes suffering from collapsed lungs.

Public health experts worry that, compared with the use of gums and patches designed to wean people off smoking, vaping encourages long-term nicotine dependency. There is also evidence that it can act as a gateway to smoking for young people who have never smoked. The WHO concludes that e-cigarettes are harmful to health and not safe.

In the UK, unlike some other countries, e-cigarettes are very lightly regulated, though research suggests that vaping liquid can contain many times the amount of nicotine that is claimed on the packet, as well as other harmful chemicals. Advertising is rife, with manufacturers finding ways to circumvent rules designed to limit direct marketing to children on social media platforms such as TikTok, using bright colours and offering multitudes of children-friendly flavours. Although it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes to under-18s, levels of vaping among 11-to-18-year-olds have almost doubled in the past three years, as smoking levels have stayed constant.


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