Disposable vapes will be banned in the UK, the Prime Minister has announced today (29 January).
The new law will make it illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone born on or after 1 January 2009, in line with the Government’s plan to create a smokefree generation.
New powers will also be introduced to restrict flavours specifically marketed to children and to force manufacturers to produce plainer, less visually appealing packaging, and will change how vapes are displayed in shops, moving them out of sight of children.
The Government will also bring in new fines for shops in England and Wales that sell vapes illegally to children, building on a maximum £2,500 fine local authorities can already impose.
Nicotine patches and vaping alternatives will also be outlawed for children.
Recent figures indicated that the number of children using vapes in the last years has tripled. Use is also rising among younger children, with 9% of 11 to 15 year olds now using vapes.
Prime Minister Rishi 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.’
Health secretary Victoria Atkins said: ‘Smoking is still the single largest preventable cause of death in England. Almost every minute of every day someone is admitted to hospital with a smoking-related disease. And its costs society £17 billion each year – putting a huge burden on our NHS.’
She added: ‘The health advice is clear, vapes should only ever be used as a tool to quit smoking. But we are committed to doing more to protect our children from illicit underage vaping, and by banning disposable vapes we’re preventing children from becoming hooked for life.’
Commenting on the news, shadow health secretary Wes Streeting: ‘What has taken the Government so long? Labour put forward measures to tackle vapes being aimed at children more than two years ago, but these were blocked by the Conservatives. In the meantime, the numbers of young people vaping have soared.
‘Labour will not sit back and allow a new generation of kids to get hooked on nicotine. Of course we will support this ban on disposable vapes.’