Cracking Down on Vaping: UK Government Proposes Ban on Disposable Vapes

Cracking Down on Vaping: UK Government Proposes Ban on Disposable Vapes

UK (Parliament Politics Maganize) – UK’s government will ban the sale of disposable vapes and restrict their cornucopia of flavours to stop children from becoming addicted to nicotine, officials stated on Monday.  It also intends to stick to a contentious proposal to prohibit today’s young people from ever purchasing cigarettes. Efforts will also be introduced to control vapes from being marketed to children and to target underage sales.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak proposed adult smokers attempting to quit would still have access to choices like vapes under the proposals.

The government expressed the ban is expected to be launched across the UK.

It is already unlawful to sell any vape to anyone under 18. Still, disposable vapes – usually sold in smaller, more multicolour packaging than refillable ones – are a “fundamental driver behind the alarming rise in youth vaping”, according to the government.

Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) charity proposes that 7.6% of 11 to 17-year-olds currently vape regularly or sometimes, up from 4.1% in 2020. Revealing the plans on Monday, Mr Sunak expressed it was fitting that “strong action” was taken to stamp out vaping in children.

“Children shouldn’t be vaping; we don’t want them to get addicted, but we still don’t understand the full long-term health impacts,” he stated. Further, Mr Sunak suggested the recommendations struck the right balance between restricting access for children and sustaining access for adult smokers trying to quit smoking.

“We must maintain vapes for adult smokers who want to stop,” the Prime Minister continued, adding that he wanted to target “all the things that make sure children don’t have access to vapes.”

According to the NHS, Vaping is substantially less harmful than smoking, but it has not been roughly for long enough for its long-term risks to be known.

The vapour that is inhaled can still contain small amounts of chemicals that are found in cigarettes, including nicotine – which is addictive but not seen by the health service as one of the most problematic ingredients in cigarettes.

The proposals pursue last year’s announcement of a prohibition on the sale of cigarettes to anyone born on or after 1 January 2009 as part of a try to create a “smoke-free generation”.

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins informed the BBC that she was confident the new bill would pass Parliament by the time of the general election – predicted to be this year – with it coming into force in early 2025. Once the timing is authorised, retailers will be given six months to execute it. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer stated he supported a disposable vapes ban but criticised the government’s two-year pause in introducing legislation. He also criticised proposals that Tory MPs may get a free vote on the matter- meaning they can vote according to their conscience, not the party line.

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The bill could be brought using current legislation designed to protect the environment. Campaigners have long claimed that disposable vapes are extravagant and that the materials and chemicals used to make them, including their lithium batteries, push them challenging to dispose of safely.

The latest modifications would also present powers to stop refillable vapes being sold in a taste marketed at children and to demand that they be produced in plainer, less attractive packaging. The government will also be able to require that shops display refillable vapes out of sight of children and away from other derivatives they might buy, like sweets. The government said a further public consultation will determine which flavours should be banned and how refillable vapes will be sold.

To help prevent underage sales, additional fines will be carried in for any shops in England and Wales caught selling vapes illegally to children.

Matt Carpenter, head teacher at Baxter College in Kidderminster, briefed BBC Radio 5 Live that vaping was a “huge part of youth culture” and said the suggested ban on disposable vapes was a “big step forward”.

Vaping choices like nicotine pouches – small white bags that are placed between the lip and gum – will also be restricted for children. The pouches discharge nicotine but do not contain tobacco, so they can presently be legally sold to under-18s. Health leaders will be willing to ensure that the new standards do not make it harder for adult smokers to shift to vaping as an alternative. This is where the consultation over how far to go with regulations on flavours and displays in shops will be necessary.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.