Vape sales to young people sparks alarm bells

Decisive action needed to stop sale of vapes to under agers as schools return, says Gillian Mackay MSP

Mounting evidence disposable vapes are being used by under-age children should set alarm bells ringing among retailers, says the MSP leading calls for a ban.

A series of investigations from Inverness to Portsmouth by Trading Standards and journalists in recent weeks have found traders selling directly to children under the legal age limit, and secondary legal purchases passed onto them. 

It comes as research published by the critical care journal Thorax from a four year study in the US showed vaping places young people at more risk of bronchitis and shortness of breath, even if they also smoke. 

More than 2000 people with an average age of 17 took part in the tests with 81% developing a wheeze, were twice as likely to develop bronchitis symptoms and 78% more likely to be out of breath. 

Reports suggest more than a million disposable vapes a week are also being discarded as the environmental cost also grows. 

Gillian Mackay MSP, Scottish Greens health spokesperson said: “Brave work being done by journalists and Trading Standards investigators to expose just how the market for vaping products is impacting on our youth couldn’t be more important.

“We already have evidence of the potential health impacts and clear environmental damage  being done. Now we are seeing explicit examples of how the illegal sale of these products is becoming worse, and their abuse commonplace. 

“Only a complete ban on vaping for anything other than prescribed medical use can solve this which is what the Scottish Greens have been calling on.

“Look around now that the schools have gone back. All of us can see for ourselves young people using these products on their way to campus, around shops and among friends, many of whom will have been lured by the slick marketing and flavours.

“Alarm bells should be ringing for parents and especially for responsible retailers that no matter how hard they may try and do the right thing, only by ridding vapes from view can we truly protect our children from a looming health crisis.

“I have already written to the big retailers asking them to take action, and I would now appeal to all traders to do the right thing now our schools have returned and keep these potentially life changing products well away from our young people.”

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