According to the UK edition of the Huffington Post, colorful and sweet-flavored disposable e-cigarettes may become a thing of the past in the UK due to concerns about their appeal to young people.
Popular e-cigarettes come in a variety of bright colors and flavors like cotton candy and strawberry kiwi, which is why it's not surprising that people are worried about their appeal to young people.
How popular are disposable e-cigarettes among young people?
Is all of this just a needless panic? Are people overreacting to the prevalence of e-cigarettes?
Well, to put it simply: no.
According to NHS statistics, 9% of 11 to 15 year olds use e-cigarettes, a slight increase from 6% three years ago. This data, combined with statistics from the "Smoking and Health Action" program, shows that 29.1% of 16 to 17 year old children have tried e-cigarettes, painting a worrying picture.
So how do we get young people to use disposable e-cigarettes?
Public Health Minister Neil O'Brien is calling for evidence before any possible restrictions are implemented. His review will consider the appearance and features of disposable e-cigarettes on the market, including brands, marketing, colors, and of course, flavors.
In addition, he will pay special attention to social media marketing and examine whether these products are intentionally targeting young audiences.
O'Brien will also respond to the independent review by Dr. Javed Khan OB, which reviewed the UK government's goal of making England and Wales smoke-free by 2030.
His comments include suggestions to reduce the attractiveness of these e-cigarettes by mandating smoking cessation information on packaging, similar to the information that appears on cigarette packaging, and using less attractive colors like green and brown to reduce their aesthetic appeal to e-cigarette users.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: While e-cigarettes are a better choice for adult smoking, we are concerned about the increase in young people using e-cigarettes, especially disposable e-cigarette products.
"We are exploring a range of measures to address this issue, including cracking down on illegal use of e-cigarettes by children and those who get them hooked on nicotine. It is right that the government does everything it can to protect children from the harm of addiction."
E-cigarettes are a very popular smoking alternative and have been a way to quit smoking. In fact, a 2021 review found that those who use e-cigarettes to quit smoking and receive face-to-face support from experts are twice as likely to be successful as those who choose other nicotine replacement products.
Although e-cigarettes are far less harmful to health than smoking, they are not without risks. The liquid and vapor in e-cigarettes may contain harmful chemicals, and the nicotine found in them is still a pathway to nicotine addiction.
Currently, it is still illegal to sell or supply cigarettes and e-cigarette products to those under the age of 18.
As NHS says, e-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking, but that doesn't mean they are harmless.
Whether you're starting to use e-cigarettes as a smoking alternative or out of curiosity, you may be looking to quit smoking altogether. NHS recommends reducing the frequency of e-cigarette use over time and gradually reducing the strength of nicotine in e-cigarette liquid.
It's also worth discussing your addiction issues with your GP to see if there are any options available, such as medication or counseling support.