United Kingdom, electronic cigarettes banned by the end of the year


by Nicol Degli Innocenti

Ban single-use vaporizers and the use of flavors and colors that attract younger people to curb the spread among minors. The plan announced by Prime Minister Sunak

2' reading

The British government is declaring war on electronic cigarettes. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced yesterday that disposable vapes will be banned across the UK within the year or early 2025 at the latest in a bid to curb their spread, particularly among very young people.

In the last three years, the number of teenagers using e-cigarettes has tripled. 9% of children aged 11 to 15 use them regularly, while the prevalence of disposable vapes in the 11 to 17 age group has increased ninefold in the last two years.

Teachers' associations are warning about the growing number of children, even as young as 12, using them even at school and developing an addiction that affects their physical and mental health.

“It’s the right thing to do,” Sunak said yesterday. We need a decisive step because we don’t yet know the long-term consequences of vaping and we don’t want to cause addiction in children.”

The new law, which must be approved by Parliament, also imposes restrictions on the range of flavors allowed, to eliminate some flavors clearly aimed at children, such as “Bubblegum”, and also on brightly colored packaging. Stores are not allowed to display e-cigarettes next to candy or other products that are primarily purchased by children.

E-cigarettes will continue to be sold to adults who want to quit smoking, but the government has stressed that it intends to make the law “watertight” and close any possible loopholes that companies in the sector might find to get them continue to sell.

The move announced yesterday is part of a broader health package that also includes a ban on the sale of cigarettes or tobacco of any kind to people born after January 1, 2009. The aim is to create a “smoke-free generation”, said Sunak.

The government launched a consultation on smoking and nicotine products last year, which found strong support for more restrictive measures. 70 percent of respondents, including parents, teachers, doctors and health workers, supported a ban.

In addition to the negative health effects, disposable vaporizers are also harmful to the environment: Five million non-recyclable cartridges are thrown away every week, a sharp increase from 1.3 million last year. Smoking remains the leading cause of death in the UK, accounting for 80,000 deaths per year and one in four fatal cancers.

View at ilsole24ore.com