Professor Sir Chris Whitty said the Government “should be much more serious” in doing “everything we can” to reduce vaping among the young.
Asked by the Health and Social Care committee about the rise of vaping among children, he said: “I think everyone agrees that marketing vaping, an addictive product, with, as you imply, unknown consequences for developing minds, to children is utterly unacceptable. Yet it is happening.
“There’s no doubt it’s happening because, although from a low base, the rates of vaping have doubled in the last couple of years among children. So that is an appalling situation.”
Research by Action on Smoking on Health (Ash) charity last year showed a steep rise in vaping among children and teenagers.
The survey of children, carried out for the Action on Smoking on Health (Ash) charity, showed that seven per cent of 11- to 17-year-olds are current vapers, up from four per cent in 2020.
In 2013, just 3 per cent of children aged 11 to 15 had ever vaped, but this rose to 8 per cent in 2020 and 10 per cent in 2022.