John Lopez, Tech Times 12 September 2023, 09:09 am
Multiple reports suggest that the UK government is poised to ban single-use disposable vapes.
The Telegraph reports that the decision comes as health ministers, responding to mounting concerns, have concluded that these devices are overwhelmingly targeted at individuals under 18.
The move, expected to be unveiled in an upcoming consultation by the Health Department, marks a decisive step in addressing the multifaceted issues surrounding vaping among youth.
The Issue with Disposable Vapes
Disposable vapes have gained notoriety for their flashy packaging, often adorned with bright colors and flavors such as "bubble gum" and "pink lemonade."
The ban proposal has garnered widespread support, with a senior Whitehall insider stating, "Disposable vapes are almost entirely aimed at kids, and they are environmentally damaging. There is a wide consensus emerging on the need to act."
This consensus is bolstered by a recent revelation first shared by The Guardian, that a staggering 5 million single-use vapes are discarded in the UK every week, representing a fourfold increase from the previous year.
Each device contains lithium, enough to create 5,000 electric car batteries annually, posing a severe environmental threat.
Young Disposable Vape Users
The concerns surrounding disposable vapes have also sparked attention from child respiratory doctors.
Last year, these physicians criticized the government for allowing e-cigarettes to be sold in child-friendly packaging that bears names resembling popular sweets, some of which contain nicotine concentrations as high as 2%.
The prevalence of youth vaping in the UK has been a growing cause for concern. ITV News tells us that figures for 2021 revealed that 9% of 11 to 15-year-olds have used e-cigarettes, marking a noticeable increase from 6% in 2018.
Disturbingly, a third of under-18s have been exposed to vape promotion online, highlighting the extent of the issue.
Government officials have not turned a blind eye to this worrying trend. Earlier this year, ministers vowed to close a legal loophole that allowed retailers to provide free samples of vapes to children in England, emphasizing the urgent need to tackle the problem at its root.
UK PM Expresses Concerns
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who has two young daughters, expressed his concerns about vape companies targeting children on X in May.
"My daughters are 10 and 12, and I don't want the way vapes are marketed, promoted and sold to be attractive to them," the Sunak said.
That's why I am launching a new crackdown today to protect children and go after the rogue companies and online crooks who are putting vapes into their hands.."
The proposed ban is not without precedent. Countries like Australia, Germany, New Zealand, and, most recently, France have implemented various restrictions and prohibitions on vaping products to protect their youth from addiction.
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