UK Government Set to Prohibit Disposable Vapes to Safeguard Children

LI Network

Published on: 30 January, 2024 at 14:30 IST

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is set to ban the sale of disposable vapes, aiming to prevent their accessibility to children.

Additionally, the government will reiterate its commitment to introducing legislation that bars younger generations from purchasing tobacco.

The proposed measures include restrictions on vape flavors, the implementation of plain packaging, and modifications to the display of vapes (e-cigarettes) to reduce their appeal to children.

Sunak stated in a released statement, “Alongside our commitment to preventing the sale of cigarettes to those 15 years old or younger, these initiatives will establish a lasting legacy in safeguarding the long-term health of our children.”

Smoking remains the largest preventable cause of death in the UK, contributing to one out of four cancer-related deaths, or approximately 80,000 fatalities annually, according to government figures. In October, Sunak unveiled plans to pass a law prohibiting individuals born on or after January 1, 2009, from purchasing tobacco in their lifetime.

While vapes are recognized as a valuable tool for smoking cessation, concerns have arisen regarding their potential role in fostering nicotine addiction among young individuals. The government reports that 9% of 11- to 15-year-olds are currently using vapes.

In December, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended the prohibition of all vape flavors.

Despite industry groups and the UK Vaping Industry Association arguing that vapes pose significantly lower health risks than tobacco, and that flavors play a crucial role in encouraging smokers to switch, Sunak emphasized his commitment to long-term national well-being.

“I have an obligation to do what I believe is in the best interest of our country in the long term,” Sunak asserted. “Hence, I am taking decisive action to ban disposable vapes, which have fueled the surge in youth vaping, and introducing new measures to regulate vape flavors, implement plain packaging, and alter the display of vapes in stores.”

In addition to health benefits, the government contends that the ban on disposable vapes would contribute to environmental conservation, as approximately five million of them are discarded each week.

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