Single-use vapes could be banned and people are divided

Single-use vapes could be banned and people are divided
5 Million Vapes Are Thrown Away Every Week In the UK
unbranded - Newsworthy / VideoElephant

Ministers may ban single-use vapes for health and environmental reasons and some people aren't happy.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the ban could come next week after the government concluded the products are aimed at children, who then become addicted. It is due to be revealed in a consultation issued by the Department of Health and Social Care next week.

According to the Guardian, 5 million single-use vapes are being thrown away in the UK every week, a fourfold increase on 2022. Research by the not-for-profit organisation Material Focus said this amounted to eight vapes a second being discarded, with the lithium in the products enough to create 5,000 electric car batteries a year.

Meanwhile, doctors are concerned about vapes being sold in child-friendly packaging with child-friendly flavours like banana milkshake. Last year, Prof Andrew Bush, a consultant paediatric chest physician at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals, said: “I am concerned that we are sleepwalking into a public health catastrophe with a generation of children hooked on nicotine.”

Scott Butler, the executive director at Material Focus, said last Friday that the “problem with single-use vapes has gotten further out of control” over the past year. “Single-use vapes are a strong contender for being the most environmentally wasteful, damaging and dangerous consumer product ever made,” he said.

Vaping is restricted in other countries. Australia has banned all vaping without a prescription, Germany prohibited flavoured e-cigarettes and New Zealand outlawed most disposable vapes and put curbs on marketing to children. Earlier this month, France also announced it is planning to ban all disposable e-cigarettes.

The government is understood to have stopped short of a ban on all vaping because it is seen as a good alternative for adults who smoke.

Prof Sir Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, has said in the past: “If you smoke, vaping is much safer; if you don’t smoke, don’t vape, and marketing to children is utterly unacceptable.”

A DHSC spokesperson said: “We are concerned about the rise in youth vaping and the environmental impacts of disposable vapes.

“That is why we launched a call for evidence to identify opportunities to reduce the number of children accessing and using vaping products – and explore where the government can go further.

“We will set out our response in due course.”

However, people on social media were divided by the news:

What do you think?

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