Disposable vapes are set to be banned in the UK, according to reports.
The government are poised to stop the sales of the products after concerns that the vapes, which often come in sweet and fruity flavours, are being marketed towards under-18s.
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, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Science Minister Michelle Donelan did not confirm the ban, but did suggest that substantial changes could be made in the future.
“We have been looking into this and doing a review because this is a very worrying trend that we’re seeing,” she told Sky News.
“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. And as a government what we are trying to do is recognise what are the key challenges.”
Britain would be following in the footsteps of many other countries in the Western world who have made efforts to curb or ban the use of disposable vapes.
Australia has banned all vaping without a prescription, Germany prohibited flavoured e-cigarettes and New Zealand outlawed most disposable vapes and put curbs on marketing to children. France has also announced its plan to ban all disposable e-cigarettes.
The number of people vaping in the UK has rocketed over the last few years.
It is thought that 4.3 million people regularly use e-cigarettes, up from 800,000 a decade ago.
More than seven million single-use vapes are bought every week in the UK - double the amount bought in 2022.
Meanwhile, there has been growing concern about the impact disposable vapes have on the environment.
Research carried out by recycling charity Material Focus found 73 per cent of UK vapers say they throw away single-use vapes.
Scott Butler, the executive director at Material Focus, described single-use vapes as being “a strong contender for being the most environmentally wasteful, damaging and dangerous consumer product ever made.”
The government is thought to have been slower to act on banning vapes outright because it sees vaping as a ‘healther’ alternative for adults who smoke.
Prof Sir Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, has said previously: “If you smoke, vaping is much safer; if you don’t smoke, don’t vape, and marketing to children is utterly unacceptable.”
There have also been worrying reports of vapes containing poison, something that Cosmopolitan UK recently went undercover to investigate.
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