A senior councillor says the rise in popularity of e-cigarettes could lead to more young people taking up smoking.
Coun Ernest Gibson fears the gadgets could be glamourising the habit – despite claims they are a healthier alternative to tobacco products.
It is this uncertainty and the option of flavours which has prompted Coun Gibson to raise his concerns at a recent meeting of the borough’s People’s Select Committee.
A recent survey by the Health and Social Care Information Centre has revealed during 2014 more young people have tried e-cigarettes than smoking.
A total of 6,173 pupils aged between 11 and 15 years old from 210 schools across England were quizzed, and the number of young people who have tried smoking was the lowest since records began in 1982 with 18 per cent saying they had tried it at least once.
However, the number of young people who had used an e-cigarette at least once was higher at 22 per cent.
There is still not enough information about the risks.Coun Ernest Gibson
Coun Gibson said: “There is still not enough information about e-cigarettes and the associated risks.
“We need to be educating our young people not just about the dangers of traditional cigarettes but also about e-cigarettes and smoking in general.
“With the range of flavours available you can see how they can be attractive to young people, but people have to remember these are not toys or some sort of gimmick – no one knows of the impact they can have on a person’s health.
Coun Gibson added that new laws around the sale of e-cigarettes or e-liquids making it illegal for them to be sold to those under 18 are to be welcomed.
The new laws are expected to come into force on October 1.