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Disposable vapes to be banned in UK

Disposable vapes are set to be banned in the UK as part of eager government plans to protect children’s health after a recent rise in youth vaping has caused increasing concern, requiring the government to take swift action. 


British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “As any parent or teacher knows, one of the most worrying trends at the moment is the rise in vaping among children, and so we must act before it becomes endemic.” 


“The long-term impacts of vaping are unknown and the nicotine within them can be highly addictive, so while vaping can be a useful tool to help smokers quit, marketing vapes to children is not acceptable.”   


“As Prime Minister I have an obligation to do what I think is the right thing for our country in the long term. That is why I am taking bold action to ban disposable vapes – which have driven the rise in youth vaping – and bring forward new powers to restrict vape flavours, introduce plain packaging and change how vapes are displayed in shops.”   


“Alongside our commitment to stop children who turn 15 this year or younger from ever legally being sold cigarettes, these changes will leave a lasting legacy by protecting our children’s health for the long term.”


New powers will be introduced that allow the government to change how vapes are displayed in shops, ensuring they are out of sight of children. 


 


Manufacturers will have to ensure the packaging is less visually appealing and restrict marketing flavours aimed at children. 


 


Fines will be issued to shops in England and Wales if they are caught selling vapes illegally to children. 


Support for the disposable vape ban was overwhelming, with nearly 70% of parents, teachers, healthcare professionals and the general public agreeing with the measures. 


Victoria Atkins, Health and Social Care Secretary, said, “Smoking is still the single largest preventable cause of death in England.” 


“Almost every minute of every day someone is admitted to hospital with a smoking-related disease. And it costs society £17 billion each year – putting a huge burden on our NHS.  


“That’s why we are driving the way forward through our smokefree generation plan, which will prevent our children from starting this dangerous habit.”


“The health advice is clear, vapes should only ever be used as a tool to quit smoking,” she continued, adding, “But we are committed to doing more to protect our children from illicit underage vaping, and by banning disposable vapes we’re preventing children from becoming hooked for life.”


The number of young people aged 11 to 17 who currently vape has increased from 7.7% in 2021 to 52% in 2022 and 69% in 2023. 


The ban will also contribute to a positive impact on the environment, for five million disposable vapes are thrown away each week. 


This was highlighted by British Environmental Secretary Steve Barclay, who stated, “Not only are disposable vapes often targeted, unacceptably, at children – they also represent a huge and growing stream of hard-to-recycle waste, with nearly 5 million thrown away every week. 


“This historic announcement will be a powerful tool in support of our efforts to crack down on waste and boost recycling, as well as helping to create the first smokefree generation.”


The government response to the consultation ‘Creating a smokefree generation and tackling youth vaping’ will be available on Gov.uk on Monday 29 January. 


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