It will soon be illegal to sell disposable vapes in the United Kingdom, if plans presented by the Conservative Government pass through Parliament, amidst fears that the large number of underage vapers in the country constitute a health risk as well as an environmental hazard.
Although the Conservatives have a Parliamentary majority, there are indications that the party will allow a free vote on the matter, leading to criticism from the Labour party, which is in favour of the ban.
It is currently already illegal to sell any vape – disposable or reusable – to anyone under 18, but the devices continue to get in the hands of minors around the country. In fact, the rate of 11-to-17-year olds who vape regularly has now increased to 7.6 per cent, up from 4.1 per cent in 2020.
Although vaping is apparently considerably less harmful than smoking, it still delivers an array of chemicals – including the highly addictive nicotine – into users’ mouths and lungs. An accurate assessment of the actual long-term dangers of vaping is difficult, since it is a relatively new practice.
Prime Minister Sunak said “strong action” is needed to eliminate vaping in children: “Children shouldn’t be vaping, we don’t want them to get addicted, we still don’t understand the full long-term health impacts,” he said.
Last year, the UK Government announced a ban on the sale of cigarettes to anyone born on or after 1st January 2009.
The ban on disposable vapes may be enacted on the basis of legislation meant to protect the environmental, as disposable vapes also constitute an increasing element of electronic waste, having lithium batteries.
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