These supermarket items could be banned for minors in the UK, here's why

As the UK plans to ban fruit and candy-flavoured vapes for teenagers, here are some of the consequences of vaping on young adults.

Vaping could cause serious damage to your health
© Yaroslav Litun / Getty Images
Vaping could cause serious damage to your health

The government revealed sweet-flavoured disposable e-cigarettes could be banned under its new plans to bring down Britain's child vaping epidemic. The government plans could target nicotine-filled devices such as Elf Bars, which are extremely popular among British teenagers.

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Sweet-flavoured vape products to be banned

Evidence of the effects of vaping on teenagers is supposed to be revealed in the next few days, which could justify the strict measures taken against disposable e-cigarettes. The possible ban comes after the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Michael Gove, announced a nation-wide goal of eradicating nitrous oxide to fight antisocial behaviour.

The government aims at banning the packaging of candy-flavoured vape liquids, which look a lot like products found on sweets shelves. The colourful packaging is said to attract minors and incite them into buying the products. The Government is expected to conduct a review on whether the packaging of these products has got an impact on sales from teenagers. The review will also look into the effects of social media advertising for these products.

According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2022, almost 85% of minors who vape used flavoured liquids, and a large majority of them said they started vaping because they were appealed by the flavours.

Read more:Brits warned to not pack these items on holiday, or risk fines up to $100,000

The dangerous effects of smoking on teenagers

The Government is expected to reply to an independent review conducted by Dr Javed Khan OBE on the Government's plan to make England and Wales smoke-free in 2030. The review argued e-cigarettes should come in more sober packaging, and with anti-smoking warnings.

Government statistics show that almost 9% of teenagers aged 11 to 18 vape regularly in the UK, a number which twice as much as 2021. According to these statistics, only 3% of teenage vapers have never touched a cigarette. A 2018 National Academy of Medicine study found that young vapers are more likely to smoke real cigarettes.

According to the CDC, most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, a substance which is harmful to young brains, as brains keep developing until your mid-20s. Consuming nicotine at a young age has also got a negative impact on parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control. It can also lead to addiction to cigarettes and other drugs when you become an adult.

Read more:Top 20 footballers that you didn't know smoked

Vaping vs. Smoking

Vaping has been widely considered as 'healthier' than smoking, as it doesn't burn tobacco or produce tar or carbon monoxide. Some health officials are convinced vapes are essential in helping the 5 million smokers in Britain to quit.

While it is considered 'safer' than smoking, vaping comes with its very own set of consequences. A study from the Medical University of Silesia in Poland found that e-cigarettes contain highly harmful toxins. The long-term consequences of vaping are still a mystery to doctors today, as they are still quite recent. Some doctors fear a future wave of lung diseases or cancers due to vaping.

The high nicotine levels contained in some e-cigarette liquids can also cause high blood pressure, among other heart issues. Dr Onkar Mudhar, a London dentist who posts videos on TikTok, said e-cigarettes can cause gum inflammation, swelling and bleeding. In 2022, 350 people were hospitalized due to respiratory problems, probably caused by vaping.

Michael Blaha, M.D. director of clinical research at the John Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, said:

Emerging data suggests links to chronic lung disease and asthma, as well as associations between dual use of e-cigarettes and smoking with cardiovascular disease. You’re exposing yourself to all kinds of chemicals that we don’t yet understand and that are probably not safe.

Read more:Cillian Murphy smokes these cigarettes in 'Peaky Blinders'

Divisive legal action against vaping industry

Some parts of the vaping industry themselves are asking for legal action against those who sell vapes to minors. Just this week, some vaping manufacturers demanded a £10,000 fine against retailers who are caught selling e-cigarettes to children.

Some health experts insist that the use of e-cigarettes is still helpful to adults who are trying to quit or reduce smoking. This is why the ban could only apply to candy-flavoured vapes, and not regular flavours.

Sources used:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Quick Facts on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults

The Sun: UP IN SMOKE Highly addictive fruit-flavoured vapes popular with kids set to be banned, The Sun can reveal

Daily Mail: Fruit and candy-flavoured vapes 'could be BANNED' amid fears millions of children are getting hooked

John Hopkins Medicine: 5 Vaping Facts You Need to Know

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