Banning flavoured vape products in the UK would drive people back to smoking cigarettes, watchdog warns.

BANNING flavoured vape products in the UK would simply drive ­people back to smoking, say health watchdogs.

President Donald Trump this week announced plans to axe flavoured e-cigs in the US over claims they are linked to deadly lung illnesses and appeal to youths.

 Banning flavoured vape products in the UK will drive people back to smoking, a watchdog has warned

Banning flavoured vape products in the UK will drive people back to smoking, a watchdog has warnedCredit: Getty - Contributor

But Martin Dockrell of Public Health England said: “Banning flavours would just likely provoke vapers to relapse back to smoking, leading to more adult smoking role models.”

Professor John Newton, the watchdog’s director for health improvement, said: "PHE has always been clear that vaping is not without risks. If you don't smoke, don't vape.

"But if you smoke, there is no situation where it would be better for your health to continue smoking rather than switching completely to vaping. The sooner you stop smoking completely the better."

Mr Trump's first public comments on vaping come as health authorities investigate hundreds of breathing illnesses reported in people who have used e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.

Dan Marchant, UK Vaping Industry Association board member, said: "It is a shame that the US president has been poorly advised on the facts.

This decision is based on misleading information and will only serve to deter smokers from making a life-changing switch to a far less harmful alternative.

"In the UK, we are proud to be a standard bearer for a consumer-driven industry which has already helped millions of people across the world stop smoking.

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