The United Kingdom will ban single-use electronic cigarettes, which are popular among young people because of their fruity taste but are a concern for doctors and health authorities, the Conservative government announced on Monday.
The ban is part of a broader plan to tackle smoking announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last autumn.
“One of the most worrying trends currently is the increase in e-cigarette use among young people, and we must therefore act before this trend becomes widespread,” he is quoted as saying in a press release.
Among young people aged 11 to 17 who smoke e-cigarettes, the proportion of people using disposable electronic cigarettes, also known as “puffs”, has increased ninefold in two years, according to official figures.
Consumption of these disposable products is “a key factor in the alarming rise” in the number of young people using electronic cigarettes, the government notes, pointing to the “unknown” long-term effects of vaping.
The government “wants to help children avoid being catastrophically lured into nicotine addiction, to which vaping is often a gateway,” Health Minister Victoria Atkins told the BBC.
She specified that this ban should take place early next year.
In addition to this ban on disposable electronic cigarettes, London will also reduce the number of flavors allowed for classic electronic cigarettes, make their packaging less attractive and regulate the way these products are presented in stores so that they are less visible to consumers. Youth.
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the UK, according to government figures. It is the cause of about one in four cancer deaths.
Last October, the Prime Minister also announced that he would extend the ban on the sale of cigarettes so that the UK could gradually become a tobacco-free country.
Currently the legal age to buy cigarettes in the UK is 18 and the government wants to raise this legal age by one year each year.