Fox News Flash top headlines for May 30
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- Britain’s government is taking steps to crack down on teenage vaping by closing a loophole that allows retailers to give children free samples of vapes.
- England’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty believes “We should continue to encourage smokers to swap to vaping as the lesser risk,” but said companies need to stop marketing the devices to children.
- The British government also plans to look into the rules on issuing fines to shops that sell vapes to people who are under 18 years old.
The British government said on Tuesday it would close a loophole that lets retailers give free samples of vapes to children in a clampdown on e-cigarettes, whose colourful designs and fruity flavours make them stand out on grocery store shelves.
“I am deeply concerned about the sharp rise in kids vaping and shocked by reports of illicit vapes containing lead getting into the hands of school children,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in the statement released by the health department, referring to a BBC report last week.
“The marketing and the illegal sales of vapes to children is completely unacceptable.”
OVER 2.5M AMERICAN TEENS VAPED IN 2022, OFFICIALS SAY
The statement cited a 2023 survey by public health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) of 11-17 year olds in which 2 out of 5 young people said they smoke vapes just to try it, while 1 in 5 said they do it due to peer pressure.
Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks during the London Defense Conference in London, Britain, on May 23, 2023. (Ben Stansall/Pool via REUTERS)
DRUG OVERDOSE DEATHS AMONG ADOLESCENTS ON THE RISE
The issue is not unique to Britain, where selling vapes to under 18s is illegal. An estimated 2.55 million U.S. middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes during the early part of 2022 in a survey, a level health officials said was “concerning.”
“We should continue to encourage smokers to swap to vaping as the lesser risk, whilst preventing the marketing and sale of vapes to children,” England’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty said in the statement.
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The government said it would also review the rules on issuing fines to shops selling vapes to under 18s to allow local authorities to issue on-the-spot fines and fixed penalty notices more easily.