By Jo Pugh •
Published: 19 Jul 2023 • 9:47
Vaping causes large clouds of fumes. Credit: StockSnap/Pixabay
THE public health director for Liverpool, Matt Ashton, has asked for a complete public ban on disposable vapes, highlighting concerns about their potential harm, impact on young people, and the need for a strategic approach to address the issue.
Ashton’s goal, as reported by the Liverpool Echo on Wednesday, July 19, is to position vapes as a stop smoking tool rather than a recreational commodity, while also addressing the challenges posed by illegal vape sales and ensuring public health and well-being. Earlier this month, £22,000 worth of illegal vapes were seized by Liverpool Council in a series of raids across the city centre.
While acknowledging that vapes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes, Professor Ashton asserted that they should not be considered a preferred alternative for non-smokers. This stance is supported by the Local Government Association (LGA), which is urging the prohibition of disposable vape sales, and the efforts of Liverpool Council to formulate its own tobacco and vaping control policy.
“They’re an eyesore, litter the streets, a cost to clean up, and they cause a risk of fires in rubbish trucks and tips. Smoking kills, and is the biggest cause of premature mortality, but vaping is a method of stopping smoking, so I’m supportive of that”, said Ashton.
The LGA said councils are also concerned about the impact vaping is having on children and young people. It is worrying that more and more children – who have never smoked – are starting vaping. This was echoed by Professor Ashton. “These disposable vapes are being used by our young people which is ridiculous, they shouldn’t be”, he said.
Ashton stated that tobacco companies, facing declining market shares, are actively exploring opportunities in the vaping industry.
This raises concerns about the deliberate targeting of young people, who are drawn to the appealing marketing campaigns used by these companies.
“We all need to understand health is a commodity, we can all see the pressure the NHS and our council services are under. As a society we should be trying to stop people getting ill and adding to that”, he concluded.
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Jo Pugh is a journalist based in the Costa Blanca North. Originally from London, she has been involved in journalism and photography for 20 years. She has lived in Spain for 12 years, and is a dedicated and passionate writer.
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