London/IBNS: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced a crackdown on the illicit sale of vapes to children, expressing shock at reports of lead-containing vapes reaching schoolchildren.
A loophole that allows retailers to give free vape samples to children in England will be closed under the new plans.
The government will also review the ban on retailers selling “nicotine-free” vapes to under-18s. Recent National Health Service (NHS) figures show a rise in vaping among 11 to 15-year-olds. England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, supports the measures and emphasizes the need to prevent non-smokers from starting vaping.
The Department of Health and Social Care will review the rules on fines for shops selling vapes to underage children, aiming to complement existing procedures. Health Minister Neil O’Brien also highlights the importance of addressing online sales of illicit vapes to minors.
The Independent British Vape Trade Association welcomes the planned review and vows to support enforcement agencies in combating illicit trade. Additionally, the health risks of vaping will be included in school lessons to discourage children from taking up vaping.