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    Public health chiefs in Cheshire and Merseyside express concern over disposable vape use

    File image of illegal vape products seized by Liverpool city council

    Directors of Public Health in Cheshire and Merseyside’s nine local council areas have issued a joint statement expressing their concern about the increase of the use of vapes in the region.

    Noting that they are particularly concerned about the increased use of vapes amongst children, the health chiefs called for a country-wide ban on sales of disposable vapes, additional restrictions on advertising and marketing of vapes, a significant increase in fines for retailers selling illicit vaping products and vapes to those aged under 18, and a consultation on the licensing and regulation of vapes.

    The statement recognised the role of vaping, among other public health measures, in significantly reducing the number of people smoking.

    “[But] as Directors of Public Health we must always be vigilant to any emerging trends that may impact this positive outcome,” the statement said, noting that the we do not yet know the long-term effects of regular vaping.

    “Our greatest concern is the impact that vaping is having on our children. Let us be clear, we understand that vapes can help people stop smoking, but it is unacceptable that colourful, covetable, plastic vapes are permeating children’s lives and setting them up for a life-long dangerous smoking habit,” it said.

    “We find the attempt to make vapes ‘cool’ amongst children disgraceful. We have no doubt that aggressive marketing and advertising strategies from tobacco companies, like offering a variety of enticing flavourings and colours, are to blame.”

    The health chiefs also called for an urgent response from the Department of Health and Social Care on when the promised £3 million ‘illicit vapes enforcement squad’ will be formed and increasing the power and capacity of local Trading Standards teams to enforce new regulations and licensing.

    “These simple measures, many of which were recommended a year ago in ‘Making smoking obsolete’, a report from Dr Javed Khan OBE, will save lives and ensure we provide the best start in life for our children,” the statement said.

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