Government action on smoking and vaping welcomed

Public Health leaders in Liverpool are welcoming an announcement from the Government that it is introducing new powers to tackle vapes and cut smoking.

The proposals confirmed today will see:

  • A ban on disposable vapes
  • New powers to restrict vape flavours, introduce plain packaging and change how vapes are displayed in shops so they don’t appeal to children
  • A new law to make it illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone born on or after 1 January 2009

Cabinet Member for Public Health, Cllr Harry Doyle, said: “This is really good news and will help tackle the aggressive marketing and advertising techniques used by tobacco companies such as selling flavours named after sweets to make them attractive to younger people.

“We are really concerned about the number of people taking up vaping who previously had not smoked, particularly as we do not know the long term effects. There is also the damage to the environment, as up to five million are currently being thrown away every single week in the UK, blighting our neighbourhoods with vapes and packaging dropped on the ground.

“All the evidence that we have is that smoking is singularly the most harmful habit for your health, so the move to ban smoking for anyone born from 2009 onwards is also to be welcomed.”

Liverpool’s Director of Public Health, Professor Matt Ashton, said: “I very much welcome the announcement that the government is taking this much-needed action on vaping and smoking.

“We know from our recent State of Health in the City report that by 2040 we face huge health challenges, and tobacco is one of the three leading drivers of ill-health, so policies such as this which will improve public health over the coming decades are clearly needed.

“However, we also need to see strong legislation in place to make sure that retailers selling illegal vapes and cigarettes to those under-age are deterred from doing so, and the resources for local government to enforce the legislation effectively.

“Working with our Alcohol and Tobacco Unit and Merseyside Police, we have already carried out a huge amount of work in Liverpool. Our partnership has seized a total of 19,000 illegal vapes with a street value of £228,000 since 1 April 2023 to tackle illegal vapes and underage sales, seizing hundreds of thousands of pounds of stock and prosecuting retailers, so we know that there are rogue businesses who are prepared to break the law.“

The amount of illegal vapes and cigarettes seized since April 2023 is:

• 23.95kg counterfeit hand rolled tobacco worth £6,830
• 135,700 cigarettes worth £88,118
• 9,430 vapes worth £113,160

Support for people who need help quitting smoking or vaping can be found at https://www.smokefreeliverpool.co.uk/.

Liverpool Waterfront