Date: 06 Dec 2023
Belfast City Council has agreed to submit a response to a UK wide public consultation based on creating a smoke-free generation and tackling youth vaping.
The consultation makes proposals for restrictions on the sale of tobacco and vapes, including a proposed UK wide ban on the sale of disposable vape products.
Elected members agreed the response following full Council on Monday 4 December.
Chair of the People and Communities Committee Councillor Micky Murray said: “Belfast continues to face a growing problem of vaping by children and young adults. These products are addictive, damaging to health and have environmental impacts. The legislation covering their sale is inadequate, and therefore as a Council, we fully support the strengthened proposals in the consultation.
“Our response highlights that we are of the opinion that mandatory age checks should be enforced for the sale of both tobacco and vape products, flavours of vapes should be restricted, packaging should be regulated and there should be a complete ban on the sale of disposable vapes.”
Belfast City Council currently carries out test purchasing exercises in retailers to prevent the sale of vaping products to under 18’s.
Councillor Murray continued: “While it is illegal to sell vapes to under 18-s, there is no regulation on the registration of retailers, no restriction on the display of the products within shops and no resources to identify illegal and harmful additives.
“The measures proposed as part of this consultation will not only regulate these issues but contribute to our Belfast Agenda goals of better health and wellbeing, whilst creating an attractive, welcoming, and environmentally sustainable city.
“We do, however, also make it clear in our response that we understand there needs to be a balancing act in recognising youth vaping issues whilst facilitating the sale of products for adults who require smoking cessation support.”
For more information on tobacco control, visit https://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/tobaccocontrol