Posted: Thu 18th Apr 2024

Give young people nicotine patches and gum to help them quit vaping, says PHW

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales


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Public Health Wales has recommended that children addicted to vaping should be given nicotine patches or gum to assist in breaking their addiction.

Support should also be prioritised over punishment when helping young people who want to quit vaping, according to public health experts.

The recommendations are part of several best practices identified by the Incident Response Group (IRG), convened by Public Health Wales to investigate the concerning rise in vaping among children and young people.

Other recommendations include policy measures to restrict vape visibility, appeal and availability to young people, such as a ban on disposable devices, the introduction of plain packaging, and restrictions on vape flavour names.

In its final report published today, the IRG recommends that vaping should be regarded as a dependency issue, rather than an act of deliberate misconduct and support services should reflect that.

In support of this, the IRG also recommends that young people who have a particular need in relation to their dependency should be given access to nicotine replacement therapies which include chewing gum, skin patches, or inhalators.

Replacement therapies are already available for anyone over 12 who is smoking.

In today’s report, the IRG makes further recommendations for policy control measures to restrict vape visibility, appeal and availability to children and young people.

They include denormalizing vaping, the IRG recommends banning it in areas predominantly used by children and young people and encourages the development of vape-free policies in these environments.

It suggests that restricting the advertising, packaging, and display of vaping products would significantly curtail their appeal to young demographics in Wales.

Additionally, the IRG calls for a complete ban on the sale and supply of disposable, single-use vaping devices.

The report advocates for legal restrictions on vape flavour names, limiting them to basic descriptors such as tobacco, mint, menthol, and fruit, to diminish their attractiveness to young users.

Consultant in Public Health for Public Health Wales, Chris Emmerson, said: “These best practices provide a comprehensive framework for supporting young vapers in Wales.”

“By implementing these practices, we can better address the complex needs of children and young people struggling with vaping dependency. ”

“Nicotine replacement therapies, which are already offered to people aged over 12 who are smoking, is one tool that could help children and young people out of their dependency on vaping in tandem with other support mechanisms.”

“In a short time, the Incident Response Group has delivered vital insight into the problem of youth vaping in Wales.”

“A clear consensus view that the rise in youth vaping must be addressed with urgency has emerged, and it is by continuing to work together that we stand the best chance of tackling the issue quickly and effectively.”

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