Guernsey politicians propose tougher laws on smoking and vaping to protect children

The number of Guernsey secondary school pupils who regularly vape has more than quadtrupled in three years. Credit: ITV Channel

The sale of vapes to under-18s could be banned in Guernsey under plans to toughen rules around smoking and e-cigarettes.

Unlike the UK, there are currently no restrictions over who can buy them on the island - leaving the decision down to the individual sellers.

Guernsey's Health and Social Care Committee want this to change, proposing that vapes can only be bought by adults and disposable vapes should be banned altogether.

They also want to make it an offence to smoke in vehicles carrying children due to the health concerns of second-hand inhalation.

It comes after reports children as young as 11 are smoking e-cigarettes in the Channel Islands.

In Guernsey, the number of secondary school pupils who vape regularly has risen from 2% in 2019 to 10% in 2022.

Deputy Al Brouard, Committee President, says: "The Committee shares the concerns held in the community about young people using vapes and has taken a pragmatic approach to recommend regulatory measures to reduce their visibility and availability."

Dr Nicola Brink, Director of Public Health, says she recognises that vapes are "useful in helping some adults give up smoking" but believes "it is concerning to see that the packaging and flavouring of many of these products appear to be targeting children".

On the impact of second-hand smoking, Dr Brink adds: "The Children and Young Peoples' Survey highlighted that 6% of Primary School children (Year 6) and 9% of young people in Secondary School (Year 8 and 10) responded that someone smokes in a car when they are in it. This illustrates the need for change."

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