August 25, 2020
As a harm-reduction option for former smokers, vaping should not be seen as something users “take up” the UKVIA has said.
John Dunne, director of the UKVIA said: “It is unhelpful and ill-informed to describe vaping as a habit people simply ‘take up’. Vaping products are harm-reduction alternatives, that can assist with smoking cessation among smokers and ex-smokers. Each year more than 50,000 additional people quit cigarettes with the aid of vaping.”
The comments came in the aftermath of a story in the Dairy Express which warned “Vapes for Children” are coming to the UK via American firms.
The original Daily Express article claimed: “Highly addictive fruit-flavoured e-cigarettes which have caused a “public health crisis” among children in America are now making their way to the UK. The flavoured e-cigarettes boast colourful cartoon-like packaging and come in varieties including mango, grape and pink lemonade.”
The story quotes a vape expert from the US, Jim Kang, claiming vape companies selling sweet flavours were already “cashing in” on the UK market, a trend that he says will only grow in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s ban on sweet flavours.
John Dunne said: “The role of flavours is also often misunderstood and misrepresented, as it is in the recent Daily Express article. Having varied products available can be key in motivating smokers to use vaping to quit smoking. Conflating the highly regulated UK vaping market with others abroad rarely provides an accurate picture of the most important issues.”
Although the prospect of a rise in teen vaping rates has raised concerns, ASH and Public Health England are among those anti-tobacco campaigners to confirm that this has yet to emerge as a major issue in the UK.
Dunne says: “The UKVIA works tirelessly to ensure that safe, high-quality products go only to those who need them, namely adult vapers and smokers. Our Youth Access Prevention Committee serves as a forum for members to share best practise and scrutinise standards. “The ‘Challenge 25’ policy and robust online sales processes are enshrined in the UKVIA Code of Conduct, which all members should uphold. We have also partnered with Trading Standards to produce expert guidance on preventing underage sales, an unprecedented step for the UK vaping industry.”