The British government announced today that it will ban disposable e-cigarettes.
According to the government, disposable e-cigarettes are the main driver of the rise in youth vaping, with the proportion of 11- to 17-year-old e-cigarette users increasing nearly nine-fold in the past two years.
As part of the plan, the government will also gain new powers to regulate e-cigarette flavours, e-cigarette packaging and product display in stores to ensure they do not attract underage users. Additionally, the government will impose new fines on shops in England and Wales that illegally sell e-cigarettes to children. E-cigarette alternatives, such as nicotine pouches, will also be banned from use by underage consumers.
In announcing the new measures, the Government also reiterated its commitment to a generational smoking ban. To help implement the new rules, government agencies including the Border Force, Revenue, Customs and Trading Standards will receive £30 million ($38.1 million) in new funding each year.
"As Prime Minister, I have an obligation to do what I believe is good for the country in the long term. Disposable e-cigarettes are driving the rise in vaping among young people. That's why I'm taking bold action to ban them and introduce new powers to Limit e-cigarette flavors, introduce plain packaging and change the way e-cigarettes are displayed in stores.”
"In addition to our commitment to prevent the legal sale of cigarettes to children aged 15 and under this year, these changes will leave a lasting impact by protecting the health of our children in the long term."
Public health officials welcomed the government's decision, with Mike McKean, associate dean for policy at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, saying: "We are delighted that Westminster Government has listened to our calls and has rightly Prioritize the health and well-being of our children and the planet. Curbing youth vaping has always required bold action, and banning disposable e-cigarettes is a meaningful step in the right direction. I'm also very pleased to see , further restrictions are needed on the flavors, packaging and marketing of e-cigarettes."
By contrast, representatives from the e-cigarette industry are frustrated, pointing out that disposable e-cigarettes have played a significant role in driving UK smoking rates to an all-time low.
John Dunn, director general of the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA), said in a statement: "While action to prevent young people from using e-cigarettes is vital, this move is more like the government sacrificing e-cigarettes ahead of the upcoming general election. Desperate attempts by users in exchange for votes.”
"If the government thinks banning single-use products will help protect young people, they are sadly mistaken. This counterproductive legislation will accelerate the growth of the black market and make illegal and non-compliant e-cigarettes more accessible to children, This puts children at greater risk.”
Based on a recent study by University College London, UKVIA says the answer to youth vaping lies not in counterproductive bans and restrictions but in effective and aggressive enforcement of laws making it illegal to sell e-cigarettes to minors.
Meanwhile, the government's continued commitment to a generational smoking ban has sparked a backlash from smokers' rights campaigners who say the plan treats adults as childish.
A new poll by smokers lobby group Forest has found that nearly two-thirds (64%) of adults in the UK say people should be allowed to buy cigarettes and cigarettes when they turn 18 and become legally adults. Other tobacco products.
Forest Director Simon Clark said: "As long as you are legally an adult you should be treated as an adult and allowed to purchase tobacco if that is your choice."
"We cannot have a two-tier society where some adults can buy tobacco but others don't have the same opportunity."
He urged Downing Street to abandon the policy, adding: "Law-abiding retailers will face the difficult task of enforcing this ridiculous policy, which also lies at the heart of traditional Conservative values such as freedom of choice and personal responsibility. Prick a thorn."