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Doctors call for ban

Doctors call for prescription-only vapes in a letter to The Times under the guise of protecting children – ignoring the impact a similar approach has had in Australia

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Doctors have called for prescription-only vapes in a letter to The Times under the guise of protecting children. The blinkered demand completely ignores the impact a similar approach has had in Australia where declining smoking rates stalled due to attacks on tobacco harm reduction. The mad medics also ignore Action on Smoking and Health saying a ban would have unintended consequences.

The doctors’ letter to The Times is hidden behind a paywall. The seventeen practising and retired paediatricians are all former chairs or members of the British Paediatric Respiratory Society executive committee. They demanded that the government takes immediate action to address a claimed crisis in youth vaping.

The letter’s signatories demanded:

  • The government cracks down on illegal sales to under-age purchasers
  • The government bans all vapes and snus from sale, making vape devices only available if people see their GP for a prescription and get one to quit smoking
  • To ban all disposable single-use vapes

Something that has been missed by this small crew of pompous, puritanical pillocks is that there aren’t any licensed vapes that can be prescribed to surgery patients.

The dippy docs point to countries that have taken a harsher line on vaping to ‘protect the kids’ but fail to mention how the UK has outstripped all of them with its enlightened approach to encouraging smokers to switch to vaping.

The government is currently set to announce measures in response to its consultation which will probably include action on disposables, a possible restriction to eliquid flavours and the imposition of a tax of at least 25%.

Action on Smoking and Health’s chief executive Deborah Arnott told the newspaper: “ASH wants action to curb youth vaping, but making vapes only available on prescription won’t help, after they tried this in Australia underage smoking and vaping both went up. Australia’s aggressive anti-vaping policy opened the door to illegal vapes, conflated the harms of vaping with smoking and left tobacco cigarettes, which are far more harmful, on sale everywhere.

Ash supports evidence-based measures to curb youth vaping, by prohibiting branding and marketing appealing to children. The disposable vapes that have surged in popularity in recent years are available for pocket money prices on every street corner and they’re currently packaged more like a sweet or a toy than a smoking cessation device. This is unacceptable and must change.”

The Department of Health and Social Care told The Times: “The government is committed to having the biggest impact possible in reducing youth vaping. The health advice is clear: if you don’t smoke, don’t vape and children should never vape. We have recently consulted on ways to reduce the appeal and availability of vapes to children and young people and we will publish our response in the coming weeks. There are currently no plans to use a prescription-only vaping model. Research shows that consumer vapes can be an effective tool to help adult smokers quit, leading to an estimated 50,000 more people quitting every year in England.”

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Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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