Release date: 25 October 2023
Health leaders in West Sussex are urging people to get involved in national proposals to create a smokefree generation.
This is a unique opportunity to have your say on ideas put forward by the government to raise the legal age for buying tobacco products, as well as tougher regulation aimed at making vaping less accessible and attractive to children and young people.
Councillor Bob Lanzer, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “The negative health impact of smoking is well known, but I am increasingly alarmed at stories of non-smokers and those under the legal smoking age who are using vapes.
“I’d encourage people in West Sussex to have their say and influence national policy on an important issue which could impact the health and wellbeing of future generations.”
Alison Challenger, Director of Public Health in West Sussex, said: “Vaping can be an effective tool to help existing adult smokers to quit tobacco.
“However, vapes are not risk free. They should not be used by or be targeted at children and young people. The long-term harm of vapes, due to the nicotine content, are unknown and vaping carries a risk for children of harm and addiction.
“The message is simple – if you don’t smoke, don’t vape.”
The proposals by the Department of Health and Social Care include raising the legal age for buying tobacco products by one year every year by making it an offence for anyone born on or after 1 January 2009 to be sold such items.
The consultation also sets out government proposals which aim to reduce the appeal, affordability, and availability of vapes to children. These would restrict the flavours and descriptions of vapes, along with regulating vape packaging and product presentation.
You can share your views on the proposals as part of the consultation, ‘Creating a smokefree generation and tackling youth vaping’, which is open until 11.59pm on 6 December.