Under 18s in England should be prohibited from purchasing e-cigarettes, the government has declared.
Specialists say it’s really not yet understood what damage the tobacco-free apparatuses could inflict and that their contents may be damaging young people’s wellbeing.
An estimated 1.3m men and women in the UK use ecigarettes which were built to aid smokers stop.
Ministers also intend to ensure it is illegal for adults to get smokes for anybody under 18.
Specialists worry the replacements might be motivating teens to take up the practice, while smoking rates have dropped to their lowest ever level.
The battery powered devices, which could be purchased online and in certain pubs, chemists and newsagents, provide a hit of addictive nicotine and emit water vapour to feeling the mimic and appearance of normal cigarette.
The vapour is known as possibly less dangerous than cigarette smoking and is free of some its dangerous materials like pitch.
Prof Dame Sally Davies
Chief medical officer, England
“We don’t yet understand the damage that ecigarettes can cause to grownups, let alone to kids, but we do understand they’re not risk free,” Prof Dame Sally Davies, England’s chief medical officer, said.
“Ecigarettes can generate hazardous substances and the quantity of nicotine as well as other compound components and contaminants, including vaporised flavourings, fluctuates between products – meaning they might be exceedingly damaging to young people’s well-being.”
Katherine Devlin, president of the Electronic Smoke Business Trade Association, welcomed the developments in regulations, saying they have been asking because of it “for years”.
“It is about time that it had been mandated in law such that it might be robustly applied,” she added, pointing out that merchandise labelling made it clear ecigarettes were not for under 18s.
No EU prohibition
The UK now has few limitations in using electronic cigarettes, despite moves in certain states to prohibit them.
A Welsh authorities spokesman said on Sunday it “entirely” supported a prohibition on electronic cigarettes for under 18s and was contemplating how such laws might be introduced in Wales.
But it said controling the selling of electronic cigarettes to under 18s was a “reasonable measure”.
From 2016, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is likely to license electronic cigarettes as a medication in britain.
This will definitely bring them in accordance with nicotine patches and chewing gum, and permit the bureau to use rules around, for example, the innocence of the nicotine in ecigarettes.
MEPs have rejected calls to get a blanket prohibition to the selling of electronic cigarettes across the EU.
Yet, beneath a compromise price, strict limits will be put on the quantity of nicotine they include, and individual EU member states will have the ability to launch a national prohibition should they see fit.
If three or even more member states selected that route, it may activate an EU-wide prohibition.
Smoking is still among the largest causes of sickness and death in britain, with around 100,000 individuals dying each year from illnesses related to the practice.
Specialists would like to crack back on how many young people smoking by bringing the law in line with limitations to the selling of booze.
“We must do all we are able to in order to help kids lead a healthier life,” public health minister Jane Ellison said.
Some 41% of 15-year olds who smoke say they often purchase their smokes from somebody else, as opposed to from a store, in accordance with Department of Health amounts.