According to the BBC on September 6, Helen Hayes, the British Labour MP and shadow minister for children, said that banning the sale of electronic cigarettes with bright packaging and brands will protect children from addiction and can reduce the number of young people using electronic cigarettes.
The legal age to buy and use e-cigarettes in the UK is 18, and the government is considering fining shops that illegally sell e-cigarettes to people under 18.
Hayes told lawmakers that some e-cigarette products were clearly marketed to children and that “the numbers are very concerning,” stressing that banning these products would reduce the number of groups using them.
Hayes said vape stores sell products that mimic well-known brands, such as Oreo cookies, or are named after candies, such as gummy bears, Skier candies and fruit-flavored candies, as well as products with cartoon designs.
She warned that if no action is taken, “we can expect a wave of young people addicted to e-cigarettes, which could stay with them for the rest of their lives”.
Bans on cigarette advertising, branding and store displays have dramatically reduced tobacco sales and smoking rates among children.
Hayes, who advocates for similar restrictions on e-cigarettes, said there is no need to use colorful brands to market smoking cessation products.
Although e-cigarettes are far less harmful than cigarettes, she told MPS they were not “harmless” and 40 children were admitted to hospital last year for problems involving e-cigarettes.
The Department of Health and Social Care said it had put in place a number of regulations to stop minors from smoking e-cigarettes, such as restricting e-cigarette sales to people over 18, limiting nicotine content, limiting the size of refill bottles and storage tanks, and restricting advertising.
Shadow Minister is a position held by the opposition party in a British political party, usually held by a senior member of Parliament from within the opposition party. Shadow ministers oversee government departments, propose opposition policy proposals, and represent the opposition in parliamentary debates. Their job titles are usually similar to those of actual government ministers, but with the word “shadow” to indicate that they do not hold positions within the government.