Tonight is the first of our #talkhealth weekly Twitter Chats. Each Monday from 8-9pm we will be hosting a Twitter Chat based around a topical health news story of the week. Tonight it’s all about electronic cigarettes. “Should ecigarettes be banned for under 18s?”
Electronic cigarettes, also know as ecigs, are designed to help people quit smoking. They are battery powered devices designed to look similar to traditional cigarettes, but contain nicotine vapour instead of tobacco smoke and are widely available to buy in shops and online in the UK. It is estimated that 1.3m people in the UK are now using electronic cigarettes.
The Government have announced this week that they are looking to ban under 18s from buying ecigarettes. Currently experts are not sure what harm ecigarettes may cause, but are concerned that the contents could damage the health of young people. Although smoking rates have fallen in the UK, experts are worried that young people may be encouraged to take up the habit using electronic cigarettes.
Alison Cox, Cancer Research UK’s head of tobacco policy, said: “Tobacco cigarettes cause one in four cancer deaths. Hundreds of children start smoking every day and we don’t want the marketing of e-cigarettes to confuse the message that smoking kills.
“We aren’t opposed to e-cigarettes being marketed to adult smokers – and hope that the marketing effort encourages many smokers to give up.
“There’s evidence in the report – particularly on social media – of e-cigs being promoted as cool and the latest thing and applying all the kinds of marketing ploys that would be used to attract a youth market including involving pop stars, computer games and one e-cig company even sponsoring a football youth team’s strip.”
So, what do you think about the use of ecigarettes? Do you use them or have you used them? Are you considering using them? Tell us what you think – come and join in our Twitter Chat this evening from 8-9pm and have your say. Just remember to search for #talkhealth on Twitter.