April 13, 2023 8.00 am This story is over 14 months old

Sleaford MP welcomes government’s anti-smoking push

She has campaigned against young people vaping

By Local Democracy Reporter

Sleaford & North Hykeham’s MP has voiced support for the government’s new measures tackling smoking and vaping.

Dr Caroline Johnson has highlighted a spike in vape usage amongst young people in her constituency and has previously proposed a blanket ban.

She has welcomed the government’s scheme, which urges smokers to swap cigarettes for vapes in a bid to make the country smoke-free by 2030.

In new government proposals, the NHS will be given £35million for tobacco treatment, and one million smokers will be given a free vaping starter kit to encourage kicking the tobacco habit.

There will also be a crackdown on the sale of illicit vapes and sales to underage people, with the introduction of a £3million enforcement squad.

The Sleaford and North Hykeham MP said: “I am pleased that the government are listening to calls for more to be done about the rise in youth vaping and are introducing the new illicit vapes enforcement squad to work across the country to clamp down on those businesses who sell vapes to children.

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

“I have been highlighting my concerns about the rise of teen vaping in Parliament through my Bill in Parliament (Disposable E-Cigarettes (Prohibition of Sale)) and in my discussions with Ministers.

“In particular, I fear that disposable vapes designs appeal to children through their bright colours, enticing names and sweet flavours.

“I have also been highlighting through my Bill that while reusable vapes remain an important means for those who want to quit, disposable vapes can have a harmful effect on children’s health and the environment.

“I will continue to work with Ministers on how we can tackle the problems surrounding teen vaping.

| Photo: Lincolnshire Trading Standards

“I will closely follow the outcomes of the government’s call for evidence on youth vaping to identify opportunities to reduce the number of children accessing and using vape products and explore where the government can go further.”

Her Sleaford constituency witnessed three young people collapse after inhaling a vape device in the town centre last month, and police have been engaging with schools to clamp down on the issue.

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

HMRC and Border Force will publish an updated strategy to tackle illicit tobacco later this year.

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