Ministers urged to crack down on vape marketing to children

Restrictions on vaping products to be considered

The ‘insidious’ marketing of vapes to young people is leaving them so addicted to nicotine they can’t concentrate on lessons.

This is according to Rachel de Souza, the children’s commissioner for England.

She said the government would be ‘failing a generation’ if these ‘addictive and sometimes dangerous products’ were allowed to be so accessible to young people.

She added: ‘It is deeply worrying to hear accounts from children who now struggle to concentrate for whole lessons, unable to use their vape.’

Among her calls are for the government to ban disposable vapes. She is also pushing for regulation to mirror that of tobacco, such as plain packaging.

In addition, she called for a ban on nicotine-free vapes.

‘[It is] insidious these products are intentionally marketed and promoted to children,’ she said.


This comes as the government closes a loophole that allowed retailers to give free vape samples to children in England.

Recent NHS figures for 2021 showed that 9% of 11 to 15 year old children used e-cigarettes. This figure is up from 6% in 2018.

Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, pledged to clamp down on the ‘unacceptable’ promotions of e-cigarettes as concerns build over increasing levels of vaping among young people.

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Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, added: ‘Closing the loophole that allows companies to give out free samples of vaping products to under 18s is a very welcome step in tackling some of the harms caused by the vaping industry.

‘We should continue to encourage smokers to swap to vaping as the lesser risk. All whilst preventing the marketing and sale of vapes to children.’

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