Disposable vapes are to be banned in the UK in an effort to protect children’s health.
This comes as the number of children using vapes has tripled in the last three years, according to the Department of Health and Social Care. Use among younger children has also seen a rise, with 9% of 11- to 15-year-olds vaping.
The government is concerned that the long-term health effects of vaping are still unknown, and nicotine withdrawal can cause anxiety, difficulty concentrating and headaches.
The Prime Minister’s announcement has also introduced new powers to restrict flavours and packaging that appeal to children, and change how vapes are displayed in shops. What’s more, new fines will be introduced in England and Wales for shops who sell vapes illegally to children. These include ‘on the spot’ fines that build on top of the £2500 fine local authorities can already impose.
‘One of the most worrying trends at the moment is the rise in vaping among children,’ said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. ‘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.’
The measure received overwhelming support in a government consultation, with nearly 70% of parents, teachers, healthcare professionals and the general public backing the ban.
Health and social care secretary, Victoria Atkins said smoking-related disease ‘costs society £17 billion each year’:
‘The health advice is clear: vapes should only ever be used as a tool to quit smoking. 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.’
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