Government ministers are reportedly preparing a ban on disposable vapes as concerns grow over the number of young people using them.
Leading health experts have welcomed reports that the UK could see a ban on single-use vapes.
Reports of plans to stop the sale of disposable vapes come as fears grow over their health risks and environmental impact.
Last week, the Guardian revealed that five million single-use vapes are thrown away every week in the UK, a four-fold increase compared to 2022.
Additionally, campaign group Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) reports that the proportion of young people aged 11 to 17 who say they have tried vaping has increased from 13.9% in 2020 and 15.8% in 2022. 20.5% in their survey this year.
Out of control
Scott Butler, executive director of Material Focus, said last Friday that “the single-use vape problem has gotten even more out of control” over the past 12 months.
He added that “single-use vapes are strong contenders for the title of the most polluting, harmful and dangerous consumer product ever manufactured.”
However, he also worries that a ban could lead to a wave of illegal vaping products on the market. He expressed concern that a ban could lead to “difficult-to-control illegal sales and the establishment of an illegal vaping market.”
John Dunne, chief executive of the UK Vaping Industry Association, says a ban is “not the solution”. He says this would lead to black markets – “putting smokers and vapers at far greater risk of harm across the world”.
The Department of Health and Social Care said: “We are concerned about the increase in vaping among young people and the environmental impacts of disposable vapes.
“That’s why we’ve launched a call for evidence to identify opportunities to reduce the number of children accessing and using vaping products – and are exploring areas where the Government can go further. We will present our response in due course.
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