E-cigarettes to be banned for under-18s

Under 18s will be banned from buying electronic cigarettes under new Government plans aimed at cracking down on teenage smoking.

The announcement comes as e cigarettes are enjoying a boom in sales, with an estimated 1.3 million people in the UK thought to use them.

The law, which will be introduced next week as an amendment to the Children and Families Bill, will also make it illegal for adults to buy cigarettes on behalf of someone under 18.

Adults caught flouting the law could be given a f50 a fixed penalty notice or fined up to f2,500.

The move comes as Department of Health figures reveal that 41% of 15 year olds who smoke say they usually buy their cigarettes from other people rather than buying them from a shop.

And 95% of 11 to 15 year olds who smoke have managed to get someone else to buy cigarettes for them in a shop at least once in the past year.

Public Health Minister and Conservative MP Jane Ellison said «Two thirds of smokers say they smoked regularly before they were 18, showing that this is an addiction largely taken up in childhood.

«We must do all we can to help children lead a healthy life. That&#39 s why this measure is designed to help protect children from the dangers of being bought cigarettes by irresponsible adults something that I hope concerned parents and responsible retailers will welcome.»

While many people view the tobacco free devices as a better alternative to traditional cigarettes, health experts remain concerned about the long term effects they could have on users&#39 health.

The long term effects of e cigarettes on people’s health are unknown

E cigarettes provide a hit of nicotine and some fear they reinforce the behaviour of smoking, making it harder to give up in the long term.

England&#39 s chief medical officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, said «We do not yet know the harm that e cigarettes can cause to adults let alone to children, but we do know they are not risk free.

«E cigarettes can produce toxic chemicals and the amount of nicotine and other chemical constituents and contaminants, including vaporised flavourings, varies between products meaning they could be extremely damaging to young people&#39 s health.»

Currently there is no restriction on people under the age of 18 buying e cigarettes, and they are hugely popular among teenagers in Britain.

But it is feared that children are turning to the smokeless devices designed to help users quit before moving on to traditional cigarettes.

Many secondary schools across the UK have resorted to banning e cigarettes over fears they are encouraging pupils to take up smoking.

Smoking rates have fallen to their lowest ever, in the wake of the ban on smoking in public and a series of shocking public health campaigns highlighting the dangers of cigarettes.

But more than 1,000 people end up in hospital every day as a result of smoking, and experts have warned that the growth in e cigarettes could reverse some of the good work that has been done in tackling the habit.

Ministers hopes the new legislation will come into force by the autumn.

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Walgreen to ‘ to evaluate’ selling cigarettes — chicago tribune

Retail pharmacies like CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreen are seeking to play a larger role in the U.S. health system by becoming more comprehensive health care providers with in store clinics, vaccination administration and other services.

They re collectively trying to capture a surge of newly insured Americans who are gaining coverage through the health care overhaul law, which is expected to expand insurance to 11 million to 13 million by the end of 2014.

The CVS initiative, the first major pharmacy to undertake such a ban, puts the bullseye on the back of Walgreen, the nation s largest pharmacy chain that has faced withering attacks from health and advocacy groups for years surrounding its policy of selling tobacco products.

Despite its more recent transformation into a more health care focused company, Walgreen has remained steadfast in its tobacco policy, arguing last year that it must continue to sell those products to stay competitive with other drug store chains, convenience stores and grocery stores.

Michael Polzin, a Walgreen spokesman, said Wednesday the company has been evaluating its tobacco line for «some time,» and said it «will continue to evaluate the choice of products our customers want, while also helping to educate them and providing smoking cessation products and alternatives that help reduce the demand for tobacco products.»

Walgreen on Wednesday also announced a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare to launch a free, Internet based smoking cessation program called Sponsorship to Quit.

The program will provide smokers with customized tools to track their progress in quitting smoking.

While Walgreen does not break out tobacco sales, the company last year cited the introduction of cigarette sales in dollar stores as a key contributor to a decline in its store traffic for its third quarter.

The $2 billion in annual sales CVS said it is giving up accounted for about 1.6 percent of the company s total revenue in 2012, the last year for which full year statistics are available.

The move drew praise from President Barack Obama, a former smoker, who said CVS «sets a powerful example that will have a profoundly positive impact on the health of our country.»

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