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RCP response to government smokefree consultation

This week the government published its response to the smokefree consultation.

Professor Sanjay Agrawal, RCP’s special adviser on tobacco, said:

“Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the UK. It ruins lives, places significant avoidable demand on the NHS and costs £14bn a year to the economy in England alone. We strongly welcome the government’s reaffirmed commitment to raising the age of sale of cigarettes to create the first smokefree generation.

“We recognise that e-cigarettes can play an important role in helping adults to quit smoking. However, over recent years we have seen a significant rise in youth vaping, and an increase in use among people who previously never smoked. We have called for measures to discourage uptake of vaping among children and young people and so we support the government's plans to address this issue and look forward to engaging with them on their plans to restrict flavours, introduce plain packaging and regulations around point of sale.

“Monitoring unintended consequences around a banning the sale of disposable e-cigarettes will be key. We must also see local authority trading standards officers provided with sufficient resource to enforce it along with appropriate border controls to stop disposables vapes entering the market illicitly and keep a watchful eye on the tobacco industry so it does not utilise loopholes, such as simply adding a charging port, to skirt the definition of disposable.”