The CCC cited a 2021 Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) report, which examined vaping behaviours among youths in the UK, and found that an overwhelming majority (83%) of teens and pre-teens aged between 11 and 18, have never tried or even heard of e-cigarettes. This finding has remained consistent since 2017.
Moreover, said the ASH report, vaping was much less common among youths who had never smoked, with a large majority of the same age group being “never smokers”, at 94.1% and 87.9% having never vaped. Moreover, 6.2% were not even aware of vaping products.
In its recent policy note entitled “Age Restrictions of Vape Products”, as quoted by The Edge Markets, CCC recommended the following regulations :
- “Introduce smart regulations and enforce strict age restrictions on vaping devices and liquids at the points of sale
- Use modern age verification technology for online sales
- Learn from other industries such as alcohol and fireworks on how to improve compliance rates
- Retail and industry should be encouraged to be more proactive with the enforcement of rules
- Do not punish legal adult vapers for the lack of enforcement of age restrictions”
A coordinated approach between lawmakers and industry is required
CCC managing director Fred Roeder said that instead of taking drastic measures such as banning vaping products, which will only drive consumers to the black market, lawmakers should focus on a more coordinated approach in partnership with the industry.
An example of such an approach, is AgeChecked, a UK-based secured online age verification system. This system requests buyers’ full names, billing addresses, and dates of birth on placing orders.
“We believe that the regulations with strict enforcement on no-sale to the underage marks the distinction between consenting adult consumers and those who have not reached the legal age to make these decisions,” said Roeder. He highlighted how such an approach has been proven successful in the UK, adding that lawmakers should follow this example.