Home Health news Single-use vapes ‘will be BANNED’ under crackdown on e-cigarette epidemic in children

Single-use vapes ‘will be BANNED’ under crackdown on e-cigarette epidemic in children

by Editor

Single use vapes will be banned in England to prevent children and young people getting hooked, the Government is expected to announce next week.

As part of its response to a consultation on vaping and cigarettes, ministers are expected to detail the plans on Monday.

On top of the ban, a crackdown on how e-cigarettes are marketed and the flavours they come in is expected, as well as a higher tax for the products.

Campaigners have warned for months that kids are being targeted by eye-catching ads for vapes, which cost as little as £3, on social media and being lured in by their flavours, such as strawberry, banana and mango. 

However, researchers have warned that adults may need to be persuaded to switch to other e-cigarettes to prevent them going back to smoking. 

Single-use vapes ‘will be BANNED’ under crackdown on e-cigarette epidemic in children

Single use vapes will be banned in England to prevent children and young people getting hooked, the Government is expected to announce next week

Shock data earlier this year revealed a record 11.6 per cent of 11 to 17-year-olds in Britain have now tried vaping. This is up on 7.7 per cent last year and twice as high as rates seen a decade ago, before the UK's kid vaping epidemic blew up

Shock data earlier this year revealed a record 11.6 per cent of 11 to 17-year-olds in Britain have now tried vaping. This is up on 7.7 per cent last year and twice as high as rates seen a decade ago, before the UK’s kid vaping epidemic blew up

The move, reported by The Telegraph, aims to stop children trying vapes in the first place, while making sure vapes are available to Brits using them to quit smoking.

The NHS recommends vapes to help people quit smoking, which is one of the biggest causes of illness and death in the UK.

Around 76,000 people die every year from smoking-related health problems, including heart disease, strokes and cancer.

E-cigarettes are far less harmful and can help people quit smoking for good, according to the health service.

However, the nicotine-filled gadgets have seen a surge in popularity among youngsters.

READ MORE: Inside Britain’s child vaping epidemic

MailOnline exposes the predatory marketing tactics of vape retailers accused of preying on kids, with their pervasive schemes so successful that officials are now proposing an outright ban

MailOnline exposes the predatory marketing tactics of vape retailers accused of preying on kids, with their pervasive schemes so successful that officials are now proposing an outright ban  

One in five secondary school children now have tried vaping, according to data from the School Health Research Network, released in September.

Kids as young as eight have picked up the habit, according to Trading Standards.

While it is illegal to sell them to under-18s, social media is flooded with posts from teenagers showing coloured vapes and discussing flavours, such as strawberry ice cream, cotton candy and cherry cola.

Some brands can also feature cartoon characters as part of their tactics to appeal to customers. Many contain addictive nicotine.

As a result, campaigners have urged ministers to urgently crackdown on the child-friendly marketing of the devices. 

Despite health chiefs insisting it is safer than smoking, vaping is not risk-free. E-cigarettes contain harmful toxins and their long-term effects remains a mystery.

Some doctors fear a wave of lung disease and even cancer in the coming decades due to vaping.

Experts are also concerned the high nicotine content might increase blood pressure and cause other heart problems.

Freedom of Information requests revealed that 24 children in England were hospitalised due to vaping since the start of 2022. These could include lung damage or a worsening of asthma symptoms.

A Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 2023 health report showed 12.7 per cent of Brits over the age of 15 smoke cigarettes daily, far higher than the US and New Zealand

A Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 2023 health report showed 12.7 per cent of Brits over the age of 15 smoke cigarettes daily, far higher than the US and New Zealand

Tests on e-cigarettes confiscated from youngsters found they contained dangerous levels of lead, nickel and chromium. Some were almost ten times above safe limits. Exposure to lead can impair brain development, while the other two metals can trigger blood clotting

Tests on e-cigarettes confiscated from youngsters found they contained dangerous levels of lead, nickel and chromium. Some were almost ten times above safe limits. Exposure to lead can impair brain development, while the other two metals can trigger blood clotting

NHS Digital data, based on the smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England survey for the year 2021, showed 30 per cent of children in Yorkshire and the Humber have used a vape

NHS Digital data, based on the smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England survey for the year 2021, showed 30 per cent of children in Yorkshire and the Humber have used a vape 

HISTORY OF SMOKING POLICY IN THE UK 

2004: Ireland bans smoking in enclosed public places, including pubs, clubs and restaurants 

2006: Scotland implements smoking ban on indoor public spaces

2007: England, Wales and Northern Ireland bring in indoor ban. In England, smoking is banned in almost all enclosed public spaces and the NHS goes smoke-free. Legal age to buy cigarettes raised from 16 to 18

2008: Cigarette companies told to feature pictorial health warnings on packets

2010: Government announces it will enforce tobacco display ban and consider plain packaging for tobacco products

2015: Smoking in cars with children banned in England and ban on the display of tobacco in small shops comes into force throughout the UK

2017: Government issues target to reduce smoking prevalence among adults to 12 per cent or less by 2022

2019: Department of Health publishes plans to make England smoke-free by 2030

2020: Menthol cigarettes are banned in the UK and EU

The expected crackdown on disposable vapes follows a major study this week, which revealed that seven per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds who have never smoked are now vaping.

Researchers called for it to be a ‘public health priority’ to prevent non-smoking children and adults from turning to vapes.

The paper, funded by Cancer Research UK, found a ban on disposable vapes would affect an estimated 2.6million adults in England, Wales and Scotland.

Lead author Dr Sarah Jackson, from University College London (UCL), said: ‘While banning disposables might seem like a straightforward solution to reduce youth vaping, it could have substantial unintended consequences for people who smoke.

‘In the event of a ban, it would be important to encourage current and ex-smokers who use disposables to switch to other types of e-cigarettes rather than going back to just smoking tobacco.’

Other countries have already began clamping down vapes.

The Food and Drug Administration has to approve any e-cigarettes sold in the US and, so far, has only approved vapes that are tobacco flavoured. 

The Department of Health and Social Care said: ‘The health advice on vaping is clear: vaping can play a role in helping adult smokers to quit, but if you don’t smoke, don’t vape – and children should never vape.

‘We have consulted on measures to reduce the appeal and availability of vapes to children. We will set out further details in due course.’

A document detailing the plans is being published ahead of legislation which aims to make the UK smoke-free — defined as less than five per cent of the adult population smoking — by raising the legal age for buying cigarettes by one year.

This would put legal smoking out of reach of anyone aged under 14 today.

That bill is expected to be debated at the start of next month and, if passed, would make the UK the first place in the world to bring in the curb.

While New Zealand led the way by passing similar legislation in 2022, the plans were dropped when a new government took over last year.

Everything you need to know about e-cigarettes 

How much nicotine is in an e-cigarette?

There are many different brands of e-cigarettes, containing various different nicotine levels.

The legal amount of nicotine in an e-liquid capacity in the UK is 20mg/ml equating to between 600 and 800 puffs.

The Elf Bar 600, one of Britain’s most popular vapes, is advertised as coming in nicotine strengths of 0mg, 10mg and 20mg. 

How many cigarettes are ‘in’ an e-cigarette? 

The Elf Bar 600 contains the equivalent to 48 cigarettes, analysts say. 

It delivers 600 puffs before it needs to be thrown away, meaning, in theory, every 12.5 puffs equate to one cigarette.

Experts say for many e-cigarettes, 100 puffs equate to ten normal cigarettes. 

Elf Bars are a brand of e-cigarettes often sold in snazzy colours and with child-friendly names and flavours, like blue razz lemonade and green gummy bear

Is vaping better for your health than cigarettes?

Vaping products are considered to be better than cigarettes as users are exposed to fewer toxins and at lower levels, according to the NHS.

The health service adds that vaping instead of smoking cigarettes reduces your exposure to toxins that can cause cancer, lung disease and diseases of the heart and circulation, such as strokes and heart attacks. 

Public Health England, which is now defunct, published an expert independent review in 2015 concluding that e-cigarettes are around 95 per cent less harmful than cigarettes.

However vaping is not risk-free, as while levels in tobacco-products are much higher, e-cigarettes still contain harmful toxins, according to a study by researchers from the Medical University of Silesia in Poland.

And Dr Onkar Mudhar, a London dentist who posts videos on TikTok, said Elf bars can cause gum inflammation, swelling and bleeding.

He said this is because nicotine dries out your mouth and reduces saliva, causing irritation from a build-up of bacteria and food that can’t get washed away.

Nearly 350 hospitalisations due to vaping were logged in England in 2022, which are thought to be mainly down to respiratory problems, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, lung inflammation and, in severe cases, respiratory failure. 

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