THE Worcestershire County Councillor for Tenbury has voiced his worries over the sale of vapes to under 18s.

Councillor David Chambers believes the enticing colourful flavours of these products are responsible for their appeal among this age group.

He is particularly concerned about illegal vapes containing higher doses of nicotine and is pushing for more to be done in schools and the local marketplace.

Councillor Chambers, who is vice chairman of the children and families overview and scrutiny committee, highlighted incidents of children as young as 11 vaping in Worcestershire, especially in parks and other communal areas and at school.

Ludlow Advertiser: Councillor Chambers outside a vape shop in TenburyCouncillor Chambers outside a vape shop in Tenbury (Image: Rob Davies)

He said: "Vaping was originally marketed as a substitute and lower risk alternative to smoking, in a possible short term attempt to wean adults off smoking. They must never be sold to or used by under 18s as we are putting children at risk of health issues. But suddenly, schools are increasingly forced to deal with the rise in vaping."

He referenced a study that showed side effects of vaping could include a sore throat, shortness of breath and potentially long term issues including bronchitis. He noted that there has been limited research in this country and elsewhere, but said he feared vaping may lead to cancer.

"In addition to possible health concerns there are also the environmental concerns regarding the vape tanks, which we see discarded in parks, schools on streets and so on."

He is advocating for increased restrictions, including severe penalties for anyone selling vapes or acquiring vapes for under 18s, no vapes to be sold in "fun colours" or "fun flavours", vapes to be hidden from view in shops, and ensuring that all products carry a health warning.