Smoking e-cigarettes will get tougher in England. There is a plan to ban those under age 18 from smoking e-cigarettes, which were manufactured with the intention of helping smokers quit. The same ban will apply to traditional cigarettes, as well. The new ban will also extend to adults who buy e-cigarettes for underage people, which is how many young people get their hands on them. The UK currently has no restrictions on e-cigarette use.
Approximately one million people in the United Kingdom smoke e-cigarettes. Officials fear that prevalence of smoking these will encourage people under age 18 to pick up the smoking habit. It is not known what sort of effects e-cigarettes have in the long term, but it’s not a healthy alternative for those who want to quit smoking even though that was the intention behind their manufacture.
E-cigarettes can be bought online and in pubs and newsstands. They are battery operated, and deliver a hit of nicotine and emit water vapor instead of smoke. The public might think them safer because there are fewer dangerous chemicals in e-cigarettes but they do still contain nicotine and toxic chemicals, and can be damaging to people’s health. Therefore, they are not risk free and are the reason why smoking e-cigarettes is going to get tougher in England.
The ban is to be introduced to Parliament this week as an amendment to the Children and Families bill. It is hoped the ban will go into effect by this fall. Katherine Devlin, the president of the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association, reportedly says she’s been waiting for something like this to happen “for years.” She says the labels on e-cigarettes make it clear they are not intended for people under age 18 although children who are smoking these electronic devices were already smoking before.
In the UK, approximately 100,000 people die every year from smoking, making it one of the major causes of death. Hence the crackdown on e-cigarette use. If adults are caught buying these electronic devices for those under age 18, the penalty will be 50 pounds ($82.46) or a fine of up to 2,500 pounds ($4,122.85). The problem is serious, with an estimated 41 percent of 15-year-olds getting their e-cigarettes from adults.
In 2016, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency intends to discuss a plan whereas e-cigarettes will be licensed as a medication in the UK. As a smoking cessation treatment, it would be available by prescription along with nicotine gum and patches.
Because there is refusal to ban e-cigarettes wholesale throughout the United Kingdom, a compromise is planned, whereas the amount of nicotine in e-cigarettes will be strictly regulated. If more than three EU members vote for an e-cigarette ban, it is possible a national ban on the devices would happen.
E-Cigarette Ban in Chicago
The city of Chicago may soon join England in the e-cigarette ban, which is also popular with minors. Mayor Rahm Emanuel reportedly intends to back a plan to include e-cigarettes in the regulation of tobacco products, and include the electronic devices in the ban from smoking in offices, indoor public places and within 10 feet of building entrances. Emanuel plans to set an increase on cigarette taxes up to 75 cents per packet of cigarettes. Just as e-cigarette smoking will get tougher in England, the United States will soon follow.
By Juana Poareo