The UK government has announced new laws that are designed to combat nicotine addiction among children under 18 years of age.
This decision includes within it the prohibition of electronic cigarette sales to under-18s, a move that a large number of electronic cigarette companies, TABlites included, are behind 100%.
From the very beginning of the business we have had in place a ‘no under 18s’ policy for our products, and to have this particular safeguard written into law, literally ‘Electronic Cigarettes Banned for Under-18s’ with no loopholes, is a step in the right direction toward thoughtful, appropriate legislation concerning e-cigs. Once the potential harm to children has been addressed we can focus on regulations that will reduce potential harm across the board without leaving the 1.3 million current electronic cigarette users, or ‘vapers’, high and dry without their alternative to analogue cigarettes.
Also among this new legislation is punishment for adults who knowingly purchase analogue cigarettes from minors. The crime is subject to fines up to £2500.
The whole decision has been taken in an effort to prevent nicotine addiction among children, the claim being that kids often start smoking when they are under 18, which bears out under scrutiny;
Jane Ellison, the Public Health Minister, said: “Two thirds of smokers say they smoked regularly before they were 18, showing that this is an addiction largely taken up in childhood.
“This measure is designed to help protect children from the dangers of being bought cigarettes by irresponsible adults.”
Whether this penalty stretches to adults buying electronic cigarettes for their children is unknown, but seems likely and is another welcome addition and building block to sensible legislation.
To play devil’s advocate for just one moment however, if a parent of a child who already smokes decides to get said child an electronic cigarette to use in place of tobacco, isn’t that better than either allowing them to continue smoking (which is FAR more harmful) or to attempt to (somehow) cut them off entirely and let them suffer with withdrawal or find increasingly risky and illegal ways to get cigarettes?
Still, so far these decisions on the part of the government seem to be the right ones. Time will tell how effectively they achieve their goals, but for the time being a legal requirement to avoid selling to under 18s is a fantastic turn for the electronic cigarette industry.
Maybe now the tabloids will stop spreading lies about us actively targeting kids.