Responding to news on the launch of public consultation on youth vaping as part of measures to clamp down on vaping and create a ‘smokefree generation’, Dr Penelope Toff, chair of the BMA Public Health Medicine Committee, said:
"Action on smoking and the significant harm it causes is vital in ensuring a healthy population now and in the future. As well as the harm it causes to individuals and families, smoking puts a huge strain on our NHS and it is still the biggest preventable cause of ill health and premature death.
“So we are delighted that this health issue is being taken seriously by the Government. In particular, the ambitious proposal to create a ‘smokefree generation’, through raising the age of sale each year is very encouraging, and we look forward to seeing the detailed proposals for achieving this. This initiative must also include sufficient funding for local services that support people to quit smoking.
“The Prime Minister also spoke last week about the worrying rise of vaping, particularly amongst young people and the harm this is causing, so we welcome the commitment to restrict the marketing of vapes and get rid of sweet shop flavours and colourful packaging, which are clearly designed to appeal to children and young people. The BMA has made it clear that measures must include the banning of disposable vapes, which are particularly attractive to children and environmentally disastrous.
“With these actions, we can still prevent further harm being caused to people who smoke - by investing to help those of all ages who are already addicted to nicotine, protecting children and young people from starting to vape and taking vital steps to safeguard the health of future generations.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.