Vape ban: Teens tell Rishi Sunak problem 'getting worse' on visit to Haughton Academy in Darlington

Pool material no credit
Rishi Sunak visited Haughton Academy in Darlington to discuss plans to ban disposable vapes and make them less attractive to children.

Teenagers in Darlington told Rishi Sunak the problem of vaping was getting worse during a school visit.

The Prime Minister was at Haughton Academy, in the town, on Monday (29 January) to talk about proposals to ban disposable e-cigarettes and make them less attractive to children.

He spoke to year nine pupils, aged 13 and 14, who were learning about the issue in their personal development class.

Mr Sunak, who arrived from his home in Northallerton, said: "Children shouldn't be vaping. We don't want them to get addicted.

"We still don't know the full long-term health impacts of vaping so it's right that we take strong action to stamp this out."

The Prime Minister said the government would target the "flavours, appearance and packaging" of e-cigarettes, where they are placed in shops, as well as stepping up enforcement.

During his visit, the Mr Sunak was told by one girl: “It’s getting worse.” She said vapes were being marketed at children, with colourful packaging.

The PM replied: “There’s no reason why kids should be doing it.”

A boy told him: “We don’t know what the long-term effects (of vaping) could be.”

Mr Sunak agreed, saying: “They are new and we just don’t know the long-term effects.”

Another boy told Mr Sunak how small shops, not national stores, were selling them to children.

Rishi Sunak asked school pupils in Darlington what they thought of the problem of vaping.

Mr Sunak also spoke to parents and teachers at the school, telling them some vape flavours “literally look like sweets”.

One adult told him: “It’s part of their culture. Maybe we could be stressing more on health side and what it does to their lungs – take away that fashion, take away that culture.”

Mr Sunak said: “There’s a perception that somehow it is safe – it’s really not.”

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...