UK will ban disposable vapes and curb candy-flavoured e-cigarettes aimed at kids

It also plans to stick to a proposal to ban today’s young people from ever buying cigarettes

By AP

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Published: Mon 29 Jan 2024, 2:50 PM

The British government says it will ban the sale of disposable vapes and limit their cornucopia of flavours in an effort to prevent children becoming addicted to nicotine. It also plans to stick to a contentious proposal to ban today’s young people from ever buying cigarettes.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is due to announce details of the plan on Monday.

It is currently illegally to sell vapes or tobacco to children under 18 in the UK, but officials say that youth vaping has tripled in the past three years, and that cheap, colorful disposable vapes are a “key driver.”

As well as banning disposable vapes, the government says it will “restrict flavours which are specifically marketed at children” and ensure that manufacturers put vapes in “less visually appealing packaging.”

“As any parent or teacher knows, one of the most worrying trends at the moment is the rise in vaping among children, and so we must act before it becomes endemic,” Sunak said.

“The long-term impacts of vaping are unknown and the nicotine within them can be highly addictive, so while vaping can be a useful tool to help smokers quit, marketing vapes to children is not acceptable.”

Sunak’s government also said it will push on with a plan announced last year to gradually raise the minimum age to buy cigarettes, so that no one born after January 1, 2009 can ever legally buy them.

The idea has been welcomed by health experts, but outraged some members of the Conservative Party who view it as excessive state intervention. The plan was modelled on a proposal in New Zealand that was scrapped late last year after a change of government in that country.

The number of people in the UK who smoke has declined by two-thirds since the 1970s, but some 6.4 million people, or about 13% of the population, still smoke, according to official figures.


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