Public Health addressing vaping

What is the answer?

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and illness in the UK. It contributes to heart disease, strokes, cancers, dementia, and lung disease. Liverpool has seen a decline in smoking rates over the past 23 years. This is thanks to accessible stop smoking support services. These services offer free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and approved products. In the last 5 years, E-cigarettes have become a popular nicotine substitute. There is strong evidence supporting their efficacy in quitting.

Liverpool has introduced a ‘Vaping to Quit’ pilot. Targeting communities with high smoking prevalence. They aim to provide free E-cigarette starter kits. This is supported by the national ‘Swap to Stop’ program. We know vaping for smoking cessation is effective. However, there are concerns about young people using vapes. Evidence suggests increased health risks associated with vaping in this demographic.

The number of young people trying vaping in Liverpool has risen, reaching 54% in 2023. Aggressive marketing by tobacco companies, offering enticing flavours, contributes to this trend. Liverpool City Council calls for stringent measures. These include increased fines for retailers selling illicit vaping products. There is also a call for more regulation of vapes. Local actions include underage sales enforcement and educational initiatives in schools.

Regulations to reduce the risk caused by vaping products are being overlooked by some retailers. Higher tank capacities, puff limits, and nicotine strengths increase the risks. Joint operations by trading standards and police have seized thousands of illicit vapes.

Our message is clear “If you smoke, vaping is much safer. If you don’t smoke, don’t vape.”

A police officer and Public Health team stood by police van with large bags of seized illegal vapes

Public Health team and the police with bags of seized illegal vapes.