Fears Children As Young As Nine Are Being Sold Vapes In Walsall

Fears Children As Young As Nine Are Being Sold Vapes In Walsall
Fears Children As Young As Nine Are Being Sold Vapes In Walsall

Fears Children As Young As Nine Are Being Sold Vapes In Walsall

The alarming trend of children as young as nine being sold vapes in Walsall has raised concerns among local authorities. Councillors are calling for stricter regulations and harsher punishments for companies violating advertising rules and selling e-cigarettes to minors.

During a cross-party debate, councillors highlighted the issue of shops near schools selling vapes to children under the age of 18. They also expressed concerns about the colorful packaging, which is designed to attract young children.

Councillor Sabina Ditta, who is also a teacher, reported seeing primary school-age children in Years 5 and 6 bringing vapes to school. This demonstrates that the problem is not limited to older students but also affects much younger children.

A joint operation with Sandwell resulted in the seizure of 782 illegal vapes, which contained 9,000 puffs, exceeding the legal limit of 600. These figures illustrate the growing concern as the number of vape shops in the borough increases and the popularity of e-cigarettes rises.

Councillor Garry Perry, deputy leader for resilient communities, emphasized the need for stricter regulations on vape shops. He argued that these establishments should be licensable, given the potential harm associated with their products. He also raised concerns about the increasing fashionability of vapes, which could attract organized criminal activity.

However, Councillor Perry acknowledged that vaping is less harmful than smoking but highlighted the lack of knowledge regarding its long-term effects. Illegal vapes are often mixed with drugs that can be addictive, particularly for young people. Therefore, it is crucial to address these issues and ensure compliance with regulations governing content and substances in vape products.

The motion put forward by councillors aims to send a strong message to the government. It calls for tougher licensing measures for vape shops and support for regional trading standards teams. Recent prosecutions and fines for the sale of illegal vapes in Walsall demonstrate the need for immediate action to prevent this problem from becoming more widespread.

Councillor Ditta stressed that the issue affects all areas and especially young children. She recounted incidents of primary school children in Year 5 and 6 bringing vapes to school, sometimes even being offered them by older students. This highlights the potential health risks to children as young as nine or ten who may be unaware of the dangers associated with vaping.

In conclusion, the widespread availability of vapes to children as young as nine in Walsall is a cause for concern. Local authorities are calling for tighter regulations, harsher punishments, and licensing controls to tackle this issue effectively. The health and well-being of young people should always be a top priority, and measures must be put in place to prevent the sale of vapes to minors.



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