Posted: Mon 29th Jan 2024

Ban on disposable vapes announced to combat surge in use by youngsters

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jan 29th, 2024

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced plans to ban disposable vapes.

The move is part of an effort by the UK government to address the growing concern over children’s health and the rise in vaping among the younger population.

The decision follows a consultation on smoking and vaping initiated in October last year.

Recent statistics have highlighted a troubling trend: the number of children using vapes has tripled in the past three years.

Alarmingly, 9% of 11 to 15-year-olds are now using vapes.

Health experts have raised concerns about the long-term impacts of vaping, noting the addictive nature of nicotine and its potential withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety and concentration difficulties.

The new legislation, set to be introduced shortly, will encompass various measures aimed at reducing the appeal of vaping to children.

This includes restricting flavours marketed towards children, implementing plain packaging, and modifying the display of vapes in shops to make them less visible to young people.

In addition to these measures, the government plans to enforce stricter penalties for shops in England and Wales that illegally sell vapes to minors.

A crucial aspect of this initiative is the Prime Minister’s commitment to creating a smokefree generation.

The law will make it illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone born on or after 1 January 2009.

This move is expected to have a profound impact on public health, potentially saving thousands of lives by preventing the onset of smoking habits in young people.

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.”

Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing Lynne Neagle has confirmed the Welsh Government will press ahead with plans to ban disposable vapes and support UK Government legislation to increase the smoking age and restrict sales of vapes.

The Welsh Government, along with the UK and Scottish governments, intend to introduce legislation to implement a ban on disposable vapes, including both nicotine and non-nicotine containing products due to their significant environmental impacts.

Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Well-being, Lynne Neagle, said:

“Smoking is the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in Wales. It causes a quarter of all cancer deaths in the UK and is responsible for 80,000 preventable deaths in the UK, of which around 5,600 are in Wales, each year.

“Whilst vapes can be useful to some smokers in supporting smoking cessation, data shows the number of children using vapes has tripled in the past 3 years. Due to their nicotine content and the unknown long-term harms, vaping carries a risk of harm and addiction for children.

“The use of single-use vapes has also grown in recent years to the point that almost 5 million are either littered or thrown away each week. Not only is this extremely wasteful because of their hard-to-recycle components, but disposable vapes are known to be used by children, and when littered, they can release toxic chemicals into the environment.

“We want to take all actions possible to stop young people from starting smoking in the first place, to prevent youth vaping, and to tackle the effects single-use vapes are having on our environment.

“I am grateful to all those from Wales who contributed to this consultation. We will now work jointly with the other nations and take collective action to tackle the harms caused by smoking and youth vaping across the UK.”

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