The UK government is considering imposing a ban on single-use vapes amid growing concerns about their appeal to children and teenagers.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the ban could come into effect as early as next week, and is set to be revealed in a consultation released by the Department of Health and Social Care.
Speaking to Sky News, Science Minister Michelle Donelan said: “We have been looking into this and doing a review because this is a very worrying trend that we’re seeing. Young children are taking up vaping who have never smoked before and it is extremely dangerous to their health and well-being, and it is something we do need to act on... As a government, what we are trying to do is recognise what the key challenges. are”
Last year, child respiratory doctors voiced their disapproval of the government’s failure to pay attention to warnings about the dangers associated with selling e-cigarettes in child-friendly packaging featuring names of popular sweet treats. The products, which included flavourings such as banana milkshake and jelly babies, contained 2% nicotine, the highest concentration allowed in the UK.
Speaking to The Guardian, Prof Sir Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, has said in the past: “If you smoke, vaping is much safer; if you don’t smoke, don’t vape, and marketing to children is utterly unacceptable.”
Single-use vapes are already banned in Germany, Australia and New Zealand, with France and Scotland considering following suit.
A DHSC spokesperson said: “We are concerned about the rise in youth vaping and the environmental impacts of disposable vapes. That is why we launched a call for evidence to identify opportunities to reduce the number of children accessing and using vaping products, and to explore where the government can go further. We will set out our response in due course.”