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Vaping: Young People

Volume 742: debated on Tuesday 5 December 2023

The hon. Lady raises such an important question on a subject that is dear to both our hearts. We all know it is an offence to sell vapes to children under 18, yet one in five children tried a vape in 2023 alone and the number trying vapes has tripled in the last three years. We know the industry is targeting children, quite cynically. That is unacceptable. Our tobacco and vapes Bill will restrict the appeal and availability of vapes to children, and we are consulting on that right now.

As the Minister rightly said, under-age vaping has increased by 50% in just the past three years. Ministers had the chance to stop this trend two years ago, during the passage of the Health and Care Act 2022, when Labour tabled an amendment to prohibit branding that appeals to children, but Ministers would not support it and Conservative Members voted it down. Does the Minister regret the fact that the Government did not act sooner? When will the planned new legislation be brought to the House? The consultation is welcome, but there is consensus on the issue and action is urgently needed.

The hon. Lady knows full well that making decisions that change legislation requires consultation. That is both the convention and the requirement. The Government have brought forward the consultation as soon as possible. It will close tomorrow and we will introduce legislation as soon as possible in the new year. I think the hon. Lady will find that that legislation really will tackle the problem of the cynical targeting of children.