Search

Disposable Vapes to be Banned

vapes

Amid fears that children are increasingly using vapes and could become addicted, ministers are set to ban single-use vapes. The move could come as early as next week as the health department has decided that the products, which often come in colourful packaging and fruity flavours, are overwhelmingly aimed at people under the age of 18.

As a consequences, shares in Supreme plc, a major distributor of disposable vapes to Tesco, Morrisons, One Stop and WHSmith, have been cut by more than 11%.

Banning single-use vapes

The decision to ban single-use vapes will be revealed in a consultation released by the Department of Health and Social Care next week. Science minister Michelle Donelan said this morning that the Government is doing a review as children vaping is a “very worrying trend”.

This move comes as the Government has become increasingly concerned about vapes. In May, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised a crackdown on vaping products targeted at children as he stated he was worried that vapes would be “attractive” to his two young daughters because of the flavours and packaging. However, despite warning that firms “shouldn’t be deliberately targeting children”, this did not stop the Conservative Party accepted a £350,000 donation from vape firm, Supreme.

Previous calls

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils and local authorities, has previously called for an outright ban on disposable vapes by next year. It argues that single use vapes, such as Elf bars and Lost Mary should be banned on environmental and health grounds and it is important that legislation is made rapidly, as with the EU proposing a ban in 2026.

Councillor David Fothergill, chairman of the LGA’s community wellbeing board, said: “Councils are not anti-vapes, which are shown to be less harmful than smoking and have a place as a tool to use in smoking cessation. However, disposable vapes are fundamentally flawed in their design and inherently unsustainable products, meaning an outright ban will prove more effective than attempts to recycle more vapes”.

Councils are also concerned about the impact vaping is having upon children and young people. It is worrying that more and more children – who have never smoked – are starting vaping.

“Single use vapes blight our streets as litter, are a hazard in our bin lorries, are expensive and difficult to deal with in our recycling centres. Their colours, flavours and advertising are appealing to children and the penalties for retailers selling them don’t go far enough. Councils urge the Government to take this action to protect our planet, keep children safe and save taxpayers money.”

Cllr David Fothergill

Additionally, Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, has previously said: “The key points about vaping (e-cigarettes) can be easily summarised. If you smoke, vaping is much safer; if you don’t smoke, don’t vape; marketing vapes to children is utterly unacceptable”.

Doctors have linked vaping to a number of health problems including asthma, lung scarring, and further organ damage. In response to Westminster’s consultation, Dr Mike McKean of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) previously said “youth vaping is fast becoming an epidemic among children, and I fear that if action is not taken, we will find ourselves sleepwalking into a crisis.”

Environmental issues

This move by the Government also comes just a week after Material Focus revealed that the number of disposable vapes thrown away has quadrupled to five million per week over the past year. Single use vapes are designed as one unit so batteries cannot be separated from the plastic, making them almost impossible to recycle without going through special treatment.

More than seven million single-use vapes are bought every week in the UK. Not only is this concerning as this number has doubled since last year, but only 17% of people recycle their vapes in a shop or local recycling centre. Research carried out by the organisation found 73 per cent of UK vapers say they throw away single-use vapes, with 33 per cent of 16 to 18-year-old vapers admitting to disposing of their vapes in a bin at their place of education or work. Scott Butler, executive director of Material Focus, said the problem of single-use vapes has got “out of control”.

The lithium batteries inside the plastic can also sharply increase in temperature if crushed and can become flammable. Disposable vapes are therefore a hazard for waste and litter collection and cause fires in bin lorries. With 1.3 million disposable vapes thrown away every week, they have also become a regular and obvious item of litter.

Final thought

Governments across the world are increasingly becoming concerned with the impacts of vaping. For example, Australia has already banned all forms of vaping, unless you have a prescription and France also has plans to ban disposable vapes. Based on the outcome of the consultation, it seems the Government believes than banning disposable vapes will outweigh the benefits due to the risks to children and the environmental harm they pose.

Share

Related Topics

Latest

Generative AI in Social Care

Earlier this month, representatives of thirty organisations and individuals working in Adult Social Care met at the University of Oxford, Reuben College, to discuss the benefits and risks of using ‘generative AI’ in social care.

Video Features

How Can we Level Up the UK Sustainably?

Does Democracy Require Proportional Representation?

Marking LGBT+ History Month 2024

How Can Plugging the Skills Gap Support Decarbonisation?

Subscribe to our newsletter for your free digital copy of the journal!

Receive our latest insights, future journals as soon as they are published and get invited to our exclusive events and webinars.

Newsletter Signups
?
?

We respect your privacy and will not share your email address with any third party. Your personal data will be collected and handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Never miss an issue by subcribing to our newsletter!

Receive our latest insights and all future journals as soon as they are published and get invited to our exclusive events and webinars.

Newsletter Signups
?
?

We respect your privacy and will not share your email address with any third party. Your personal data will be collected and handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Never miss an issue by subcribing to our newsletter!

Receive our latest insights and all future journals as soon as they are published and get invited to our exclusive events and webinars.

Newsletter Signups
?
?

We respect your privacy and will not share your email address with any third party. Your personal data will be collected and handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Newsletter Signup

Receive our latest insights as soon as they are published and get invited to our exclusive events and webinars.

Newsletter Signups
?
?

We respect your privacy and will not share your email address with any third party. Your personal data will be collected and handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy.