RCPCH response to youth vaping: call for evidence

In June 2023, we responded to the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities’ call for evidence to identify opportunities to reduce the number of children and young people accessing and using vape products.

Vapes, or e-cigarettes, are devices that enables users to inhale nicotine in vapour, generated by heating a liquid (e-liquid), rather than smoke. In the UK it is currently illegal to sell vapes to under 18s; however, data shows a sharp increase in vaping among 11- 17 year olds.  

Our full response to the call for evidence is available to download below.  

In the response, we highlight:  

  • Vapes are a relatively new product; they aren’t risk free and their long-term impacts are not known.  
  • Regulations for conventional cigarettes, eg plain packaging and keeping cigarettes out of sight in shops has reduced access to children and young people, which suggests the same should be applied vapes. 
  • Requiring age verification for online sales of vapes could help prevent minors from purchasing these products.
  • Restricting flavours of e-cigarettes by limiting the availability of flavoured e-cigarettes, which are often marketed to young people, could help reduce their appeal to minors. 
  • Restricting the marketing and advertising of e-cigarettes to young people could help reduce their exposure to these products.
  • A ban of disposable vapes should be implemented to reduce their accessibility to young people and harm to the environment.

You can also find our vaping policy briefing.