Home Editor's Pick UK Bans Disposable Vapes In Efforts Towards Tackling The Youth Vaping Crisis

UK Bans Disposable Vapes In Efforts Towards Tackling The Youth Vaping Crisis

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In recent years, the vaping landscape in the UK has seen rapid growth, particularly among adolescents and young adults.

This surge has drawn significant attention from the government, prompting a series of responses aimed at protecting young people and clamping down on illegal products in the market.

More children now vape instead of smoke

With vaping now twice as common as smoking among children, the UK government has been urged to tackle the growing youth vaping crisis. The allure of vaping among young people has been rising over the years with recent statistics indicating a worrying trend in underage vaping. According to a survey from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), data suggests that almost 8% of 11-17-year-olds vape while 20% said that they had tried vaping.

To tackle the increasing issue of youth vaping across the country, earlier this year the government announced that disposable vapes will be banned in the UK shortly. While the main focus of the upcoming ban not only tackles minors accessing vape products it also tackles the environmental concern over vape disposal, as only 17% of vapers recycle their disposable vapes.

Public concern over shops encouraging child vaping

As well as the rise in youth vaping, the UK government has intensified its efforts to prevent vape shops from selling to minors as there is currently an ongoing issue of vape shops ‘encouraging’ children to vape.

A selection of recent BBC reports highlighted a vape shop in Grimsby that was criticised for selling toys as well as vapesand companies even trading with appealing names such as ‘Sweet & Vape Shop’ in Lincolnshire. Many other retail businesses have also been fined for selling vapes (and even alcohol) to children under 18.

Cracking down on the sale of illegal vapes

Another significant issue which has led towards the ban on disposable vapes is the increasing number of illegal vapes which have been seized. With more and more children now vaping, they are exposed to illegal disposable vapes which have a higher concentration of nicotine in them.

Local Trading Standards teams have seized an increasing number of illegal vapes from numerous establishments across the country. Figures released by Wrexham Council show that they seized 6,339 illegal vapes during 2023 compared to 1,240 that were seized in 2022.

Moving towards a smoke-free future

The UK’s vision for a ‘smoke-free generation’ is becoming increasingly tangible through legislation and public health campaigns, with King Charles announcing the eventual ban on cigarettes and tobacco in England. Recent moves towards banning disposable vapes and introducing stricter regulations on vape flavours and packaging also help make vapes less appealing to minors.

These efforts are part of a broader strategy to reduce smoking rates, supported by initiatives such as the NHS’s ‘Better Health’ campaign, which aims to discourage smoking and vaping among all age groups. With 83% of smokers starting smoking in their teenage years, the government are proposing changes to protect future generations from ever starting smoking.

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