After statistics revealed that the percentage of minors attempting e-cigarettes has doubled over the previous ten years, Rishi Sunak stated that the Government is looking into methods to tighten regulations on vape advertising.
The prime minister voiced worry that part of the marketing, which he said appears to be directed at young people, may be aimed at his own daughters.
Campaigners have demanded a government crackdown, claiming that vapes are intended to entice kids with their brightly colored packaging and tasty flavors.
“I have two young girls. I’m also worried about that,” Mr Sunak told ITV’s Good Morning Britain.
“We’re looking at how can we strengthen the rules on how are they marketed, promoted, what do they look like.
“It looks like they are targeted at kids, (which is) ridiculous. I don’t want my kids seduced by any of these things.”
Earlier this year, ministers announced the creation of a “illicit vapes enforcement squad” to combat the illegal sale of e-cigarettes to people under the age of 18.
The task force, according to their claims, would make “test purchases” at stores and disseminate “intelligence” through regional networks and local authorities.
After Labour promised to modify advertising regulations to stop devices like vapes from being pushed to youngsters, Mr. Sunak made his most recent remarks.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer stated in a significant speech defining the party’s stance on health and the NHS: “We will alter advertising standards and we will make sure that things which are damaging to our children’s health – vaping, junk food, sugary snacks – cannot be sold to our children. Not in Britain, obviously.
It follows reports that experimental vaping among 11 to 17-year-olds in Britain increased from 5.6% in 2014 to 11.6% in 2023, according to YouGov statistics.
The head of the nonprofit Action on Smoking and Health, Deborah Arnott, has warned the government’s task group won’t function without measures aimed at the product’s marketing.
“But enforcement on its own won’t do the trick without tougher regulation to address the child-friendly promotion of these cheap and attractive products,” she said.
Geoff Worsley, a father from Abergele, North Wales, whose change.org petition Stop Children Vaping – More Regulation Now has more than 100,000 signatures, is among campaigners calling for a crackdown, saying: “Parents like me up and down the country are calling on Government to act to protect our children from vaping as well as smoking. More funding for enforcement is a good first step but it’s not enough.”