“Glamorous, cool and sexy” is how adolescents described advertising posters for e-cigarettes during a roundtable discussion on children and smoking.
The event was held by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Primary Care and Public Health whose chairman, Sir Kevin Barron MP claimed that advertising of e-cigarettes pose a real threat to under 18s who are in danger of being enticed by the alluring nature of the images.
“Historically the tobacco industry has been good at recruiting new young smokers,” he said “and from our discussion, it is clear that under-18s are fully aware of e-cigarettes. There is concern that e-cigarettes could be a gateway for young people to go on to use normal cigarettes or even cannabis.”
“Whilst we are pleased about the new Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) rules that aim to curb advertising of e-cigarettes to young people, inappropriate images can still be seen on billboards and online adverts for these products.”
Access, availability and quality of products are also concerning issues highlighted by the young people.
Baroness Masham of Ilton, APPG Secretary appealed to regulators. “There has to be some controls in place as to where e-cigarettes can be sold, we heard they can be bought by children for as little as £1 from pound-shops.”
“Standardising products is also needed since we heard that some e-cigarettes were found to contain formaldehyde and heavy metals. Companies should be required to list ingredients on packaging.”
“We would further recommend e-cigarettes are sold through licensed premises only, to assure product quality and prevent opportunistic purchasing.”
Sir Kevin Barron continued “of course we realise the potential benefits of e-cigarettes to many people that are trying to reduce or quit smoking, however, in the absence of evidence to support their safety and efficacy as a smoking cessation aid, caution and standards must be applied.”
The report can be accessed here.
Source: All Party Parliamentary Group on Primary Care and Public Health