Public Health Wales has recommended that the same restrictions governing tobacco products should be extended to e-cigarettes concerning marketing, packaging, and display.

This response comes as part of Public Health Wales’ contribution to a UK government consultation aimed at addressing smoking and youth vaping.

Public Health Wales stands firmly behind raising the age for tobacco sales in the UK and advocates for aligning regulations on vaping with those for tobacco.

The organisation also supports a total prohibition on disposable vapes, citing their strong association with increased vaping among children and young people and highlighting environmental concerns.

Concerns about youth vaping and marketing strategies

While acknowledging the potential benefits of vaping for adult smokers trying to quit, Public Health Wales raises concerns about the growing trend of vaping among non-smokers, especially children and young people.

The organisation emphasises the necessity of preventing marketing strategies that appeal to this demographic.

Dr Julie Bishop, director of Health Improvement for Public Health Wales, stated: “Vapes should be sold in standardised packaging with no logos, stored behind the counter, and not openly displayed – similar to the regulations for tobacco products.”

Flavouring regulations and government consultation

Public Health Wales has also urged action on vape flavouring, proposing restrictions on naming conventions and a legally defined list of acceptable flavours.

It advocates for a ban on flavours that particularly attract young people.

The UK government’s consultation, titled ‘Creating a smoke-free generation and tackling youth vaping,’ was launched on 12 October 2023, with plans to introduce legislation within the current parliamentary session.

Proposed measures include a ban on tobacco sales for those born after 1 January 2009, and potential regulations on vape products, packaging, and point-of-sale displays to kerb rising youth vaping.