The UK Government Failed to Conduct a Thorough Risk Assessment of The Dispo …

Not only is the UK’s successful smoking cessation strategy seemingly being discarded without much consideration, but the risks of its new restrictions have not been considered as well as one would expect.

The Government’s consideration of a ban on disposable vapes has raised concerns about its potential unintended consequences, especially related to vapers reverting to smoking. Despite nearly a third of adult vapers relying on disposable vapes, the Government’s impact assessment found it challenging to quantify how many vapers may turn back to cigarettes if disposables were banned. Naturally, this lack of information raises significant public health concerns.

Meanwhile, research conducted by Dr. Sarah Jackson at UCL shed some light on the potential impact of the ban. The study estimated that about 744,000 former smokers could be at risk of relapse once disposables are no longer available. While approximately 1.2 million current smokers could benefit from switching to e-cigarettes entirely.

The government failed to determine how the ban will affect local smoking rates

While banning disposables may seem like a solution to reduce youth vaping, the research revealed the potential unintended consequences for adult smokers seeking safer alternatives, and therefore the need for careful consideration and support mechanisms to mitigate the risks associated with such a policy change.

Given their cheaper price tag, disposable vapes are disproportionately used by individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds and those with mental health conditions. This highlights the importance of providing support to help these individuals transition to other forms of vaping following the ban, rather than reverting to smoking.

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Vaping can save 200 million lives and flavours play a key role in helping smokers quit. However, policymakers want to limit or ban flavours, putting our effort to end smoking-related deaths in jeopardy.

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