College welcomes Committee recommendations on restrictions on disposable vapes to limit child use.

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (“the College”) is welcoming recommendations from the UK Parliament’s Health and Social Care Committee on restricting disposable vapes in order to limit their use by children. The Committee today urged the government to restrict the packaging and marketing of vapes in line with those that apply to tobacco products, review enforcement powers for trading standards and consider a new excise tax on vapes.

Earlier this summer the College joined the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and ASH Scotland in urging the Scottish Government to implement an outright ban on disposable e-cigarette products, due to their disproportionate use among children and young people and their detrimental impact on the environment. The College has consistently urged a cautious approach to the use of vaping products since their introduction to the market, in the light of an incomplete evidence base and the ‘do no harm’ principle.

Speaking today Professor Andrew Elder, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, said:

The Committee’s recommendations are welcome and it is correct to highlight the harmful effects of vaping on children. We would argue that there are strong grounds to go even further and consider a ban on disposable e-cigarette products.

The health risks to children and young people come not only from the harmful chemical substances, sometimes toxic, to be found in some vapes- as the Committee referenced- but in the fact that research from the World Health Organisation shows that young people who vape are up to three times as likely to start smoking. There are also of course the environmental impacts of the use of these disposable products.

The College hopes that the UK government will respond positively and quickly to the Committee’s calls and that governments throughout the UK will take decisive action to protect our children and young people from the very real and potentially very dangerous impacts of vaping.