Youth Health Champions investigate underage vaping in the City

Trading Standards and Southend-on-Sea City Youth Council have set out to tackle the rise in underage vaping and e-cigarettes.

A cartoon hand holding a black and red cartoon vape.

Youth council members have been helping Trading Standards by acting as mystery shoppers to see which shops will sell disposable vape pens containing nicotine to underage children.

Thomas Cauchi, deputy youth mayor of Southend-on-Sea City Youth Council, has seen an increasing number of young people vaping saying; "Many people now see vaping as normal and are not acting on it."

Youth council members went shopping for vapes in April, working with Trading Standards to visit six stores, as mystery shoppers. Southend-on-Sea City Youth Council, are pleased that every visit during April, they were refused when trying to purchase vaping products without ID.

In addition to the mystery shopping exercise, the youth council have been working with public health team, with a youth vaping survey which is now closed but received 1,540 responses, gathering the views of young people, parents, and carers about the issue. The results will be used to inform future awareness campaigns about the effects of vaping and the benefits of stopping.

Zachary Savijn Ford, Southend-on-Sea City Youth Council member, said: “I believe that the growth of vaping is proving to become very damaging to the younger generation, so it was necessary to complete this action.”

If any member of the public would like to alert Trading Standards about shops in Southend selling vaping products to children, please call their consumer helpline number on 0808 223 1133.

Published: 15th May 2023

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