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Rishi Sunak admits he’s scared his daughters, 12 and 10, will get hooked on vapes because of the ‘ridiculous’ marketing tactics used to lure kids in
- Firms package e-cigs in bright colours and sell them in flavours like bubblegum
- Shops even sell the gadgets, which are pumped full of nicotine, next to sweets
Rishi Sunak today admitted he was scared his two daughters will end up hooked on vapes.
The Prime Minister, clindamycin pyloric stenosis father to Krishna, 12, and Anoushka, 10, slammed the ‘ridiculous’ marketing tactics used to lure kids in.
Predatory firms package e-cigs in an array of bright colours and sell them in flavours such as bubblegum. Shops even sell the gadgets, which are pumped full of nicotine, next to sweets.
Experts blame the tactics for kickstarting Britain’s child vaping epidemic, which has prompted dire warnings that we are ‘sleepwalking into an existential crisis’.
Discussing the marketing strategy vape firms have deployed on ITV’s This Morning, Mr Sunak said: ‘I have two young girls. I’m also worried about that.
The Prime Minister, father to Krishna, 12, and Anoushka, 10, slammed the ‘ridiculous’ marketing tactics used to lure kids in on ITV’s This Morning
Experts are growing increasingly concerned child-friendly flavours and bright colours make the products more appealing to children. Pictured, colourful vape ‘juice’
MailOnline discovered dupe vapes mimicking Chupa Chups, Skittles, Jolly Rancher, Rubicon and Calypso (pictured), with near-identical branding to the popular sweets and drinks in other stores along Oxford Street
‘It looks like they are targeted at kids, which is ridiculous. I don’t want my kids to be seduced by any of these things.’
The PM has previously promised ‘bad things will happen’ to vaping firms that prey on children.
Figures last week revealed 11.6 per cent of 11-17 year olds in Britain have now tried vaping.
This was up on 7.7 per cent last year and twice as high as rates seen a decade ago — before the epidemic blew up.
‘Puff bars’, as they are known, are popular among teens. Brands include Elf Bars, Geek and Crystal.
Ministers announced a crackdown on the illegal sale of e-cigs to under-18s with an ‘illicit vapes enforcement squad’ earlier this year.
The task force will conduct ‘test purchasing’ at shops and share ‘intelligence’ across regional networks and local authorities, it is planned.
Mr Sunak is pictured earlier this month outside 10 Downing Street with his wife Akshata Murty, and their daughters Krishna (second left) and Anoushka (second right)
Shock data last week revealed a record 11.6 per cent of 11-17 year olds in Britain have now tried vaping. This is up on 7.7 per cent last year and twice as high as rates seen a decade ago — before the UK’s kid vaping epidemic blew up
But health campaigners have repeatedly demanded tougher action to stamp out the alcopop-esque marketing strategies used to lure kids in.
A damning MailOnline expose earlier this year laid bare the true scale of the problem — including the growing threat of ‘dupe’ vapes, designed to mimic respected sweet brands like Chupa Chups and Skittles.
Labour has pledged to change to change advertising rules to prevent products like vapes being marketed to children.
In a major speech outlining the party’s approach to health and the NHS earlier this week, Sir Keir Starmer said: ‘We will change advertising rules and we will make sure that products which are harmful to our children’s health – vaping, junk food, sugary snacks – cannot be advertised to our children. No – not in Britain.’
Almost every high street in the country now has a designated shop where e-cigs are paraded.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which polices the safety of medical products used in the UK, has a notification scheme for vapes so that any harm caused by the devices can be logged. The watchdog’s head of e-cigarettes, Craig Copland, said the results of the BBC investigation would be reviewed to assess whether the vapes posed a health risk
NHS Digital data, based on the Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among Young People in England survey for the year 2021, showed 30 per cent of children in Yorkshire and the Humber have used a vape
The long-term effects remain a mystery and top experts fear a wave of lung disease, dental issues and even cancer in the coming decades among people who took up the habit at a young age. However, despite the warnings surrounding vaping, health chiefs insist it is a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes
The long-term effects remain a mystery and top experts fear a wave of lung disease, dental issues and even cancer in the coming decades among people who took up the habit at a young age.
However, despite the warnings surrounding vaping, health chiefs insist it is a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes.
Around 6million people smoke in the UK and it is estimated to cause 64,000 deaths every year.
It comes after a study this week revealed that cheap vapes puffed by schoolkids can contain toxic metals.
Tests on e-cigarettes confiscated from youngsters found they contained dangerous levels of lead, nickel and chromium. Some were almost 10 times above safe limits.
Exposure to lead can impair brain development, while the other two metals can trigger blood clotting.
Everything you need to know about e-cigarettes
How much nicotine is in an e-cigarette?
There are many different brands of e-cigarettes, containing various different nicotine levels.
The legal amount of nicotine in an e-liquid capacity in the UK is 20mg/ml equating to between 600 and 800 puffs.
The Elf Bar 600, one of Britain’s most popular vapes, is advertised as coming in nicotine strengths of 0mg, 10mg and 20mg.
How many cigarettes are ‘in’ an e-cigarette?
The Elf Bar 600 contains the equivalent to 48 cigarettes, analysts say.
It delivers 600 puffs before it needs to be thrown away, meaning, in theory, every 12.5 puffs equate to one cigarette.
Experts say for many e-cigarettes, 100 puffs equate to ten normal cigarettes.
Elf Bars are a brand of e-cigarettes often sold in snazzy colours and with child-friendly names and flavours, like blue razz lemonade and green gummy bear
Is vaping better for your health than cigarettes?
Vaping products are considered to be better than cigarettes as users are exposed to fewer toxins and at lower levels, according to the NHS.
The health service adds that vaping instead of smoking cigarettes reduces your exposure to toxins that can cause cancer, lung disease and diseases of the heart and circulation, such as strokes and heart attacks.
Public Health England, which is now defunct, published an expert independent review in 2015 concluding that e-cigarettes are around 95 per cent less harmful than cigarettes.
However vaping is not risk-free, as while levels in tobacco-products are much higher, e-cigarettes still contain harmful toxins, according to a study by researchers from the Medical University of Silesia in Poland.
And Dr Onkar Mudhar, a London dentist who posts videos on TikTok, said Elf bars can cause gum inflammation, swelling and bleeding.
He said this is because nicotine dries out your mouth and reduces saliva, causing irritation from a build-up of bacteria and food that can’t get washed away.
Nearly 350 hospitalisations due to vaping were logged in England in 2022, which are thought to be mainly down to respiratory problems, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, lung inflammation and, in severe cases, respiratory failure.
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