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England's Children's Commissioner Explains Why Disposable Vapes Must Be Banned

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By Jaden Francis - - 5 Mins Read
A disposable vape
Unsplash |

Health ministers have been seriously contemplating banning the sale of disposable vapes in the UK due to their harmful effects on children and to curb its growing levels of addiction among young people.


Vape flavors such as strawberry banana, pink lemonade, and mango are being advertised to youngsters, and schools have been horrified when they discover that vapes seized away from their students contain dangerously high levels of chemicals such as nickel and lead, which exposure to can affect the central nervous system and brain development.”


"It is illegal to sell nicotine vapes to children. We are concerned about the recent rise in youth vaping mostly because of the unknown long-term harms it might cause," a Department for Health and Social Care spokesman said.


Dame Rachel de Souza said, "These products are intentionally marketed and promoted to children, which is very insidious." She is deeply worried that children feel pressured to vape, including avoiding using school toilets where it is happening.


She said the sale of ‘nicotine-free’ vapes to children should be banned and welcomed a Government review in this area, but e-cigarettes should be sold only in plain packaging just to prevent their appeal to youngsters. Also, age-of-sale signs on vaping products should be mandated in the same manner it is for tobacco.


Dame Rachel published new research from more than 3,500 children aged eight to 17 and their parents who worried about peer pressure and being exposed to the promotion of vaping on social media.


"We urgently need stricter management of this ‘Wild West’ market. It is insidious that these products are intentionally marketed and promoted to children, both offline and online." says Rachel


Too Many Youngsters Are Addicted To Vaping


A young person vaping


The May data for Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) showed a 50% rise in Great Britain in the proportion of children trying vaping in the last year.


It found a rise in experimental vaping among 11 to 17-year-olds, from 7.7% last year to 11.6% this year.


The research showed that, as children get older, the regular use of vapes and experimentation increases. The proportion of children who have never smoked but have tried vaping is 11.5%.

Disposable vapes are the e-cigarette of choice among youngsters, and purchases of vapes are mostly made from corner shops.

Vaping has exploded in Britain over the past few years, and every high street in the country now has a designated vape shop with e-cigarettes also sold for as little as £5 in almost all newsagents.