LONDON: In a bid to address the surge in youth vaping, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on Monday to introduce legislation to prohibit disposable e-cigarettes.
During a visit to a school in Darlington, northeast England, Sunak expressed concern about the increasing prevalence of vaping among children.
He emphasized the need for robust measures, stating, “It’s right we take strong action to stamp this out, banning disposable vapes, taking powers to regulate the flavors, appearance, packaging, and the display of vapes in stores. Children shouldn’t be vaping.”
Popularly known as “puffs,” pre-filled disposable e-cigarettes are favored by young people due to their high nicotine content, diverse flavors, and affordability.
Citing recent statistics revealing a nearly ninefold increase in the use of disposables among vapers under the age of 18 over the last two years, the government aims to implement fines for shops in England and Wales that unlawfully sell vapes to children.
Health experts have welcomed the proposed legislation, with Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty anticipating “a major public health impact across many future generations.”
Mike McKean from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health commended the move as “bold action” and viewed the ban on disposables as a meaningful step in the right direction.