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UK Government to Ban Disposable Vapes Amidst Rising Youth Usage

UK Government to Ban Disposable Vapes Amidst Rising Youth Usage

In an effort to curb the increasing number of young people taking up vaping, the UK government has announced plans to ban disposable vapes. The measures also include preventing the marketing of vapes to children and addressing under-age sales. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak emphasized that adults seeking alternatives to smoking would still have access to vapes under the proposed regulations.

The ban, expected to be implemented nationwide, targets disposable vapes, often sold in colorful and smaller packaging compared to refillable ones. According to Action on Smoking and Health (Ash), 7.6% of 11 to 17-year-olds in the UK now regularly or occasionally vape, up from 4.1% in 2020.

Sunak highlighted the importance of taking strong action to prevent children from vaping, emphasizing the unknown long-term health impacts. The proposed ban is part of a broader effort to create a “smoke-free generation.”

The UK Vaping Industry Association expressed concerns, stating that vapes have assisted millions of adults in quitting cigarettes and warned of potential risks, such as boosting the black market.

The ban, supported by the Scottish and Welsh governments, will be complemented by fines for shops illegally selling vapes to children. Additionally, new powers will regulate the display and packaging of refillable vapes to make them less appealing to children.

The government plans to conduct a public consultation to decide on banned flavors and sales regulations for refillable vapes. The ban on disposable vapes aligns with similar measures in Australia, France, Germany, and New Zealand, with the UK joining the ranks to address the growing concerns around youth vaping.

Environmental campaigners have long criticized disposable vapes for their wastefulness and challenging disposal. The new measures aim to strike a balance between curbing youth vaping and ensuring access for adult smokers attempting to quit.

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