March 24, 2023 1.00 pm This story is over 8 months old

The Lincolnshire vaping argument: Ban or no ban?

A way to quit smoking or a gateway to addiction?

A proposal to ban the sale of vapes and e-cigarettes after three children collapsed has divided opinion in Lincolnshire.

Police issued a warning after three Sleaford students unknowingly inhaled a vape device with THC oil inside and needed treatment.

Dr Caroline Johnson, MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham, presented a Bill to parliament in February, which pitched the a blanket ban on e-cigarettes and disposable vapes due to health and environmental dangers.

Dr Johnson, an NHS children’s doctor, warned reusable vapes have become “child friendly” with bright colours and fruity flavours, and are “luring non-smokers into a life of addiction”.

More and more young people getting their hands on vapes, according to Lincolnshire County Council, perhaps encouraged by their peers.

Stock image from Sleaford. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

The Linconite asked whether shops should be banned form selling vapes completely.

Lindsey Slapp despaired at the perceived lack of care from authorities and the wider population at this growing issue.

She said: “It’s already illegal to sell vaping products to children, and illegal to buy vaping products for children.

“The law needs enforcing but sadly nobody seems to care. Have we really become a society that doesn’t care?”

A number of vapes dumped in the River Slea, spotted during an organised litter pick of the area. | Photo: Danny Graham

John Fisher supports a ban not just of vapes, but cigarettes too, while many other commenters voiced their backing for prohibiting the sale of vape devices.

Alexander Shepard pointed out that “box mods”, a reusable form of vape device, do not cause environmental harm and tend not to be used by many young people.

An NHS survey conducted in 2021 found that around one in five 15-year-olds consider themselves vape users.

However, vaping has proven a very handy tool to helping people quit smoking cigarettes.

Vapes cannot be sold to anyone under the age of 18 | Photo: Adobe Stock

Charles Gardner was much more to-the-point with his arguments, saying with a tongue-in-cheek tone: “Please support such bans if you believe that all smokers and ex-smokers-who-vape should just die and get out of our hair.”

The Lincolnite reported this week that Lincolnshire Trading Standards removed 5,062 non-compliant vapes from the market between April and December last year.

A “significant increase” in vape usage amongst young people has been reported.

Some popular brands are using around 20mg of nicotine in their devices, the rough equivalent of smoking 40-50 cigarettes.

Some of these devices had more than 16 times the puff limit, and it would appear that Trading Standards are facing more of these issues than ever before.

In Lincolnshire, 35% of the intelligence received around underage sales is now specifically about the sale of vapes.

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