Will vapes be banned in the UK? Government outlines consultation plans

Packaging and flavour names could also be forced to change - in a bid to stop young people from vaping.

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Disposable vapes could be banned in the UK as the government outlines options to deal with youth vaping.

This morning (12 October) the government launched a consultation asking people for their thoughts on how vapes can be used by smokers wanting to quit but at the same time lessen their appeal to under-18s.

Among the options being considered are a complete ban on disposable vapes, restricting their sale, and ensuring they cannot be sold in an array of flavours and colours that might appeal to youngsters. Charities, groups, individuals and industry will be invited to give their opinions over the next eight weeks. on what should happen to cut their appeal. Other proposals include prohibiting the use of cartoons and child-friendly images such as characters on both vape packaging and the vape itself.

Twelve-year-old Sarah Griffin ended up in a coma after vaping left her lungs too “weak” to fight an infection. (Picture: NICHS)Twelve-year-old Sarah Griffin ended up in a coma after vaping left her lungs too “weak” to fight an infection. (Picture: NICHS)
Twelve-year-old Sarah Griffin ended up in a coma after vaping left her lungs too “weak” to fight an infection. (Picture: NICHS)

Figures show that disposable vapes are the e-cigarette of choice among youngsters, while purchases of vapes are mostly made from corner shops.

Off the back of the proposed smoking ban, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: "Last week I promised to create the first smokefree generation and I am wasting no time to deliver on that promise. Our ambitious plans will reverse the worrying rise in youth vaping while protecting our children from the dangerous long-term effects of smoking as quickly as possible."

Health Secretary Steve Barclay added: "There has been a surge in vaping amongst children, which is why we’re taking action to reduce the appeal and availability of vapes. Vapes should never be used by children and we’re committed to reversing this trend.

"We also need to take bold action to protect future generations from the harms of smoking addiction, which damages health at every stage of life and costs the economy billions."

Recent figures show the number of children using vapes in the past three years has tripled, with one in five children aged between 11 and 17 having tried vaping in 2023, according to Action on Smoking and Health (Ash).

"Ground-breaking legislation to protect the next generation from smoking and vaping is needed, wanted and workable," said chief executive Deborah Arnott.

"This consultation will ensure all voices are heard and the balance is struck between protecting children while still helping adult smokers quit. However, consultation must be followed rapidly by legislation to be passed in this parliamentary session. There is no time to waste, every day hundreds of children start smoking for the first time, two thirds of whom will go on to become daily addicted smokers."

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