On Monday 29th January, the Prime Minister announced that disposable vapes would be banned in the UK as a part of ambitious Government plans to tackle the large rise in children starting to vape to protect their health.
Disposable vapes will be banned in the UK as part of ambitious government plans to tackle the rise in youth vaping and protect children’s health. We couldn't be more behind this. The measure is part of the government’s response to its consultation on smoking and vaping, launched in October last year.
Recent figures show the number of children using vapes in the past 3 years has tripled. Use among younger children is also rising, with 9% of 11 to 15-year-olds now using vapes (that's shocking). The long-term health impacts of vaping are unknown and the nicotine contained within them can be highly addictive, with withdrawal sometimes causing anxiety, trouble concentrating and headaches. While vaping can play a role in helping adult smokers to quit, children should never vape.
Disposable vapes have been a key driver behind the alarming rise in youth vaping, with the proportion of 11 to 17-year-old vapers using disposables increasing almost ninefold in the last 2 years.
As part of today’s package, new powers will be introduced to restrict flavours which are specifically marketed to children and ensure that manufacturers produce plainer, less visually appealing packaging, the packaging would make a huge difference. The powers will also allow the government to change how vapes are displayed in shops, moving them out of sight of children and away from products that appeal to them, like sweets.
To crack down on underage sales, the government will also bring in new fines for shops in England and Wales which sell vapes illegally to children. Trading standards officers will be empowered to act ‘on the spot’ to tackle underage tobacco and vape sales. This builds on a maximum £2,500 fine that local authorities can impose.
The government has again reiterated its commitment to bring about the first smoke-free generation and introduce legislation so children turning 15 this year or younger can never legally be sold tobacco.
Smoking is the UK’s single biggest preventable killer - causing around 1 in 4 cancer deaths and leading to 80,000 deaths per year - so stopping young people from ever starting to smoke will protect an entire generation, and future generations, from smoking harms as they grow up.
The 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.
There was overwhelming support among responses to the government’s consultation for a disposable vape ban, with nearly 70% of parents, teachers, healthcare professionals and the general public supportive of the measure.
The government must protect children’s health. This is the responsible thing to do to protect children for generations to come. Whilst we have those who vape amongst the Creative Waste Solutions team, we've all universally agreed that children can't and absolutely shouldn't be vaping and that vaping should be used to help quit smoking.
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