D638X7TUR6N3 If you’re old enough, you can probably remember a time when alcopops were the devil and everyone suggested that they were responsible for the corruption of our youth – with calls for heavy regulations on them and even banning. Now that has quietened down and it seems that electronic cigarettes are getting the same treatment – with people calling for them to be banned for anyone under 18.
The positive thing about this is that the enforcement is across the board – not just for specialist retailers. To be honest with you it is something that many retailers already practice anyway – purely because electronic cigarettes contain nicotine. Many go down the route of these being an alternative to tobacco cigarettes and if you aren’t old enough to smoke tobacco cigarettes, why would you need an alternative? If this came into practice then it would force anyone who didn’t already do this to stop the same of them to minors. This allows the whole electronic cigarette industry to be taken much more seriously and allows them to be seen as responsible.
The problem is that some of the reasons for electronic cigarettes being banned for under 18s just aren’t good enough. Yes, we know they’re alternatives to cigarettes for many people, but the argument that they normalise cigarette smoking is just not true. Many people want to see these banned for minors, because they feel that it will normalise smoking and encourage them to take up the bad habit when they are old enough. However there is no evidence to back this up and in fact quite the opposite – the number of people who smoke in the UK is on the decrease!
Dame Sally Davies (England’s chief medical officer) recently released a press release that said “E-cigarettes can produce toxic chemicals and the amount of nicotine and other chemical constituents and contaminants, including vaporised flavourings, varies between products meaning they could be extremely damaging to young people’s health.”
There is some truth to the fact that there are no legally enforceable standards specifically for electronic cigarettes there are a number of ways that less repeatable brands could be caught out. A high quality brand will always make sure that products are regulated with safety standards for consumption within the UK. Ingredients should be product tested to make sure that they reach industry standards – and if you’re going to buy electronic cigarettes you should read up on the brand to make sure that they do this before you part with your hard earned money.
This statement by Dame Sally Davies is damaging because it simply isn’t true. Electronic cigarettes are made up of safe products with are highly tested individually and should be considered safe for consumption.