Vape manufacturers should pay a polluter’s TAX, public health experts argue
Vape manufacturers should be required to pay a “polluter” tax, public health officials urged today.
The levy would not be passed on directly to the British. Instead, it would come out of the pockets of companies that make e-cigarettes.
The same policy should also be applied to cigarettes and alcohol, experts argued.
The industries are already subject to huge taxes to compensate for the damage they cause and discourage people from buying them.
A new levy could help fund enforcement efforts to crack down on the sale of illegal products or rogue sellers seeking to supply them to children.
The move would mean a heavy crackdown on industries making “eye-popping profits” from products that have “no benefits,” public health officials told the Local Government’s Association’s public health conference today.
NHS Digital, which last year surveyed nearly 10,000 students aged 11 to 15 about their smoking, drug and drinking habits, found that nine per cent are currently vaping – the highest recorded rate since the survey began in 2014
And specifically a polluter levy could also encourage the industry to establish recycling programs for products such as single-use vaping.
The move was discussed today at the Local Government’s Association (LGA) public health conference.
Kate Pike, tobacco control chief at Trading Standards North West, was asked if she would “see a polluter pay” for the “tobacco, vape and alcohol industries.”
She replied, “Absolutely. When you consider how cheap enforcement is.’
Ms Pike said: ‘The government has the ambition to be smoke free by 2030.
“And the regulatory impact of what we can do to help that ambition would make it so much easier and so much better.”
For example, revenue derived from such a levy could consist of funding cessation programs run at the taxpayer’s expense, similar to programs the NHS runs for smoking.
Meanwhile, Rachel Flowers, director of public health at Croydon London Borough Council, said the idea has been floated since the 1980s.
About 6 million people smoke in the UK and it is responsible for 64,000 deaths each year.
Rates have fallen over the past decade, but experts say it’s still not close enough to reach the smoke-free goal.
However, vaping rates have exploded in the same time.
While widely considered safer than smoking, its long-term effects remain a mystery.
Doctors fear there will be a wave of lung disease, dental problems and even cancer in the coming decades in people who started the habit at a young age.
The alcohol percentages have remained stable over time. But the Office for National Statistics recorded 9,641 deaths in the UK in 2021, the highest number ever recorded.
And alcohol-related harm is estimated to cost the NHS £3.5 billion a year.
A No. 10-commissioned review on smoking, published last June, also recommended the maintenance of a “polluter pays” system.
It would be the ‘dying’ tobacco industry to pay an additional £70 million in tax each year it was suggested.
This would help fund the £125 million needed to support smoking cessation and e-cigarettes on the NHS, the report said.
One in 10 high school students now uses vaping, despite uncertainty about their long-term health effects
Enforcement of laws regarding the sale of vaping, tobacco and alcohol products by minors, the sale of illegal products and point-of-sale advertising is the responsibility of Trading Standards. According to the Association of Chief Trading Standards Officers, sales of alcohol and tobacco to under-18s will be down 11 percent and 23 percent respectively in 2022 from the previous year
Other bold proposals included having doctors prescribe e-cigarettes and vaping to smokers to help them quit.
When published, think tank the Adam Smith Institute labeled the report as “nanny-statism on steroids” and “illiberal nonsense.”
Still, Sir Chris Whitty, England’s Chief Medical Officer, welcomed the “bold report” and said the industry has hooked millions of Britons “at a very young age”.
It is illegal under UK law to sell e-cigarettes and vaping products containing nicotine or tobacco to anyone under the age of 18.
The Association of Chief Trading Standards Officers said alcohol and tobacco sales to under-18s will fall by 11 percent and 23 percent respectively in 2022 compared to last year.
But at the same time, sales of e-cigarettes to under-18s increased by 450 percent, Ms Pike said.
Inappropriate advertising and promotion of vaping on social media is a major concern in addressing “how to make vaping less attractive and less accessible to those under 18, while making it more attractive and accessible to smokers who want to quit,” she added up to it.
“More needs to be done, especially with TikTok to prevent vaping from looking appealing to under-18s.”
But involving young people in the environmental problem of disposable products could be one way to tackle the problem.
In February, major retailers withdrew sales of best-selling Elf Bar vapes after a Mail investigation found the company was violating nicotine limits law.
Tesco, Sainsbury’s and WH Smith recalled all Elf Bar products and Morrisons and Asda removed the top ranked Elf Bar 600 range from their shelves.
It came after independent lab tests commissioned by the Mail found the 600 line of e-cigarettes to be at least 50 percent above the legal limit for nicotine e-liquid.
What do the recent studies say about e-cigarettes?
People who vape experience ‘worrying changes’ in their blood pressure
Vaping causes your blood pressure and heart rate to rise immediately afterwards, one study claimed.
Experts at the University of Wisconsin found that vaping and smoking cause people’s heart rates to spike 15 minutes after use, putting the body into “fight or flight” mode.
The study, presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2022, looked at data from 395 participants – 164 vapers, 117 smokers and 114 who had no history of nicotine, e-cigarettes or tobacco use.
Co-lead author Matthew Tattersall, an assistant professor of medicine at the university, said: “Immediately after vaping or smoking, there were worrying changes in blood pressure, heart rate, heart rate variability and blood vessel tone (constriction).”
But the study wasn’t peer-reviewed and was observational only, so researchers couldn’t prove that vaping actually caused the heart problems.
E-cigarette users are less fit than people who don’t vape
Vapers perform worse during exercise than nonsmokers and are more like smokers, a study claims.
Researchers looked at data from the same participants as the previous study.
After 90 minutes on the machine, they were given four heart tests to determine the organ’s overall health.
People who vaped scored 11 percent lower than those who didn’t use nicotine.
Smokers had test scores 16 percent lower than the control group.
Dr. Aruni Bhatnagar, a professor of medicine at the University of Louisville, said: “These studies add to the growing body of science showing comparable cardiovascular injuries in people who use e-cigarettes and those who smoke combustible cigarettes.”
Vaping is ‘as bad as cigarettes for your heart’
Vapers have the same risk of heart disease as cigarette users, according to US federally funded research.
In two studies, one in mice and one in humans, e-cigarettes were found to cause similar damage to blood vessels as smoking tobacco.
The findings by experts at the University of California, San Francisco were published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB) of the American Heart Association.
Despite the difference in ingredients that make up e-cigarette aerosol and cigarette smoke, the researchers found that damage to blood vessels does not appear to be caused by any specific component of cigarette smoke or e-cigarette vapor.
Rather, it appears to be caused by airway irritation triggering biological signals in the valgus nerve.
Dr. Matthew Springer, a professor of medicine in the department of cardiology at the University of California, San Francisco, said: “We were surprised to find that there was not a single component that you could remove to reduce the harmful effect of smoke or fumes on the body. to stop. the blood vessels.’
“As long as there is an irritant in the airways, blood vessel function may be compromised,” he said.