From Action on Smoking and Health <[email protected]>
Subject ASH Daily News for 14 May 2024
Date May 14, 2024 11:23 AM
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** 14 May 2024

** UK

** Children´s exposure to vape marketing at all-time high (#3)

** More than a third of children’s restaurant meals still exceed salt target (#7)

** International

** Ireland: Legal age for sale of cigarettes to be raised to 21 as decline in smoking rate plateaus (#2)

** UK

** Children´s exposure to vape marketing at all-time high

Children’s exposure to vape marketing is at an all-time high, with youngsters overwhelmingly opting for fruit and dessert-flavoured vapes, new data shows.

Annual survey results from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) show children in Great Britain are increasingly aware of vape marketing, including in shops and via social media sites such as TikTok and YouTube.

The 2024 poll of 2,587 children aged 11 to 17 found that 7.6% currently vape, the same proportion as last year, but up from 2.8% in 2017 and 0.8% in 2013.

There are also indications that regular vaping among this age group is now more common (4.5%) than using vapes less than once a week (3.1%), experts behind the study said.

The data, shared exclusively with the PA news agency, found that 57% of child vapers and 47% of adult vapers prefer fruit as their main choice of vape flavour.

Furthermore, vapes with sweet flavours and those that taste of vanilla or chocolate are twice as popular with children (17%) than with adults (8.8%). When it comes to vapes being marketed, the poll found the proportion of children aware of vape advertising is now at an all-time high.

More than half (55%) of 11 to 17-year-olds are aware of vape promotion in shops compared to 37% two years ago, while 16% see adverts on billboards, up from 12% two years ago.

Furthermore, just 19% of 11 to 17-year-olds said they were not aware of vape promotion at all, down from 31% two years ago.

And when it comes to individual social media sites, of the 29% aware of online promotion, some 52% see vapes promoted on TikTok, up slightly from 49% last year. Meanwhile, 32% see this on YouTube, also up from 29%.

A quarter (25%) of children polled had seen vapes promoted on Snapchat, similar to the 24% last year, while 28% had seen promotions on Instagram (same as last year).

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Ash, said: “It is reassuring that youth vaping has not increased over the last year, but it’s not going down either.

“Tough action is still needed to curb youth vaping.

“Exposure to vape marketing among teenagers is at an all-time high and it is essential that the Tobacco and Vapes Bill is passed so the new powers to limit promotion can be swiftly enacted.

“At the same time, however, it is concerning that adults increasingly do not understand that switching to vaping would be less harmful to their health than smoking.

“Alongside the vital efforts to curb youth vaping, Government must take action to address this misperception.”

Source: Daily Mail, 14 May 2024

See also: ASH - ASH 2024 adult and youth vaping data ([link removed]) ([link removed]) | New figures show youth vaping has plateaued while adult vaping is at an all-time high ([link removed])
Read Here ([link removed])

** More than a third of children’s restaurant meals still exceed salt target

More than a third of children’s main meals sold in restaurants still exceed the government’s maximum salt target, with Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Wetherspoon’s and Prezzo among the worst offenders, a survey suggests.

Action on Salt found that 37% of children’s main meals sold in the “out of home” sector exceeded the government-set maximum target of 1.71g of salt, to be achieved by the end of the year.

Children aged between four and six should eat no more than 3g of salt a day in total, according to guidelines.

Almost 50% of children’s restaurant meals provide at least half of a child’s daily limit, with some dishes containing more than their entire day’s worth of salt, Action on Salt found.

Of the 37 restaurants included in the research, 29 provided accessible nutrition information for customers in conjunction with legislation set by the government in 2021 on calorie labelling, which applies to large businesses.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen had the highest overall salt content in its children’s meals – averaging 3.06g per meal – whereas the children’s meal with the highest salt content was Bella Italia’s larger vegan margherita pizza, with 4.4g salt.

Graham MacGregor, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary University of London and chair of Action on Salt, said: “Children in the UK are eating too much salt, which puts them on track to develop high blood pressure later in life.

“Raised blood pressure is the biggest cause of strokes and heart disease, which in themselves are the biggest cause of death and a major cause of disability.”

He said the research showed many companies were flouting the targets for salt reduction in their foods “and appear to be indifferent to our children’s health. It is time the government took action and enforced the salt targets, as some companies have clearly demonstrated that it can easily be done.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said the amount of salt in food has fallen by around 20% since 2006. They said they had restricted the placement of less healthy foods in stores and online, and introduced calorie labelling on menus.

Source: The Guardian 14 May 2024

See also: Action on Salt – Are children’s meals worth their salt ([link removed])
Read Here ([link removed])

** International

** Ireland: Legal age for sale of cigarettes to be raised to 21 as decline in smoking rate plateaus

The minimum legal age for the sale of tobacco will be increased from 18 to 21 under plans due to be approved by Cabinet this week.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly will bring a memo to Cabinet to increase the legal age, amid concerns about a recent plateau in the decline of smoking rates in Ireland.

Separately, Mr Donnelly is also drafting legislation to address the thousands of flavours of vapes and the bright colours of the packaging. Those laws would restrict point of sale promotion and include a ban on disposable vapes.

Ministers will be told on Tuesday that raising the minimum legal age for the sale of tobacco products could lead to a significant reduction in smoking prevalence. About 18 per cent of Irish adults currently smoke.

It is understood that the legislation will be designed so that it does not affect those who are between the ages of 18-21 who are currently legally entitled to be sold tobacco products. The prohibition on the retail sale of tobacco products will not apply to this group for what has been described as a “wash through” period.

Health officials are hoping that the age hike could also limit the social sources of cigarettes for children and young people as they may be less likely to be in social groups with people who can legally purchase cigarettes.

The Government believes that there may be strong public support for the move, following a survey by the Irish Heart Foundation which found that 73 per cent of adults and 71 per cent of those aged 18-24 supported raising the legal age to purchase tobacco to 21.

Source: The Irish Times, 13 May 2024

See also: Irish Heart Foundation - 76% of the population favour a gradual ban on the sale and supply of tobacco ([link removed])
Read Here ([link removed])
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ASH Daily News is a digest of published news on smoking-related topics. ASH is not responsible for the content of external websites. ASH does not necessarily endorse the material contained in this bulletin.

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