Blackpool Council voices support for Government's vape ban plans

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Government plans to ban disposable vapes in an effort to reduce the growing number of young people vaping have been welcomed by local auithorities on the Fylde coast.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the proposed new measures on Monday, January 29.

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As part of the new moves, there will also be efforts to halt the vapes being actively marketed at children.

At Wyre Council, Coun Lynne Bowen, Leisure, Health and Community Engagement Portfolio Holder, said she was frequently concerned to see young people of high school age almost hidden by huge plumes of vape smoke as they walked along the streets.

She said: "If the Governemnt plans are able to reduce the numbers of young people smoking vapes it can only be a good thing.

"When I come across yoing people regularly you can hardly see them for clouds of smoke - there seem to be so many of them using vapes.

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"We still don't know how safe they are - it could be years before the true picture becomes clear.

"Some people say they are safer than normal cigarettes but how much do we really know?"

As the law currently stands, it is illegal to sell any vape to those aged under 18.

However, the colourful packaging of disposables vapes, coupled with the range of flavours, makes them particularly popular with young people and are seen as a reaon for inceased numbers of young people smoking them.

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Rishi Sunak, said: "As any parent or teacher knows, one of the most worrying trends at the moment is the rise in vaping among children, and so we must act before it becomes endemic. 

"The long-term impacts of vaping are unknown and the nicotine within them can be highly addictive, so while vaping can be a useful tool to help smokers quit, marketing vapes to children is not acceptable. "  

In December last year, Blackpool Council undertook a number of test purchases and council members were shocked whe the exercise resulted in a 100% failure.

Ten premises across Blackpool were visited by a 15-year-old girl who attempted to buy e-cigarettes containing nicotine - and not one asked her for proof of age.

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At the time, Blackpool council said the shops had to do better or face the consequences,

After the latest announcement from the Government,Dr Arif Rajpura, Director of Public Health at Blackpool Council, said: "This is absolutely the right move. At the end of last year I once again raised my concerns about young residents accessing vapes and in particular the way they were marketed and presented.

"This change is much needed to protect children and young people from potential harm.

“Recent research has found that vapes appeared to be easily accessible for children and young people, the most commonly reported ways that they acquired vapes being buying them at corner shops, vape-shops and receiving vapes from friends and family."

The NHS says that vaping is considerably less harmful than smoking, but it has not been around for long enough for its long-term risks to be known.

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