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Will UK Prohibit Disposable Vape Products?

Will UK Prohibit Disposable Vape Products?

In a bid to tackle the growing prevalence of vaping among children, the UK government unveiled plans on Monday to prohibit the sale of disposable vapes. The initiative aims to reduce the appeal of these products to children by implementing plain packaging, restricting the availability of flavors, and placing limitations on how vapes are promoted in stores.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, in a statement, expressed concern about the unknown long-term effects of vaping and highlighted the highly addictive nature of nicotine present in these products. While acknowledging the potential usefulness of vaping for adult smokers trying to quit, he emphasized that marketing vapes to children is unacceptable. The government intends to ensure that adult smokers seeking to quit can still access vape kits.

Read more: Turkish Man Locks His Own Head in Cage to Quit Smoking

A report from Action on Smoking and Health in spring 2023 indicated a 50 percent year-over-year increase in the proportion of children experimenting with vaping. The government noted that the proportion of 11 to 17-year-olds who vape has surged almost ninefold in the past two years, with disposable vapes identified as a significant driver of this rise.

The proposed changes are anticipated to be implemented by the end of this year or early 2025, representing the government’s latest initiative in working towards the goal of creating “the first smoke-free generation.” In October, plans were announced to pass a law preventing individuals born on or after January 1, 2009, from legally purchasing tobacco throughout their lifetime.

The UK joins other countries in contemplating the prohibition of disposable vapes. Australia recently initiated a ban on the import of disposable e-cigarettes, citing concerns about the health of teenagers. In December, France’s National Assembly unanimously approved a bill to ban such products, aiming to safeguard young people and mitigate environmental impacts.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also advocated for measures against vaping in December, urging governments globally to either ban the sale of vapes or implement measures to diminish their appeal. Such measures include banning flavors, limiting nicotine concentration, or imposing taxes on the products.

Dr. Ruediger Krech, WHO Director for Health Promotion, highlighted the alarming surge in e-cigarette use among children and young people, surpassing adult usage rates in many countries. The global health organization’s call for action underscores the urgency of addressing the growing public health concern associated with vaping.