Here Are the Downsides of Banning Disposable Vapes in the UK

The UK government is contemplating a potential ban on disposable vapes to address concerns about youth usage, but a recent study funded by Cancer Research UK has also revealed the potential consequences of the ban on the millions of people in the country trying to quit smoking.

Understanding the Issue

University College London conducted a survey of 69,973 adults and revealed that the ban on disposable vapes could impact 2.6 million adults across Great Britain. 1.2 million adults in the UK are active smokers, and an additional 744,000 are former smokers. Critics of the ban argue that vaping is less harmful than smoking, and the report urges politicians to recognize this when making their decisions.

Dr. Sarah Jackson, lead author of the study and part of UCL’s Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, spoke of the potential consequences of a disposable vape ban, stating, “While banning disposables might seem like a straightforward solution to reduce youth vaping, it could have substantial unintended consequences for people who smoke.” 

Prof Jamie Brown, senior author of the study, added that “A ban may discourage the use of e-cigarettes among people trying to quit smoking and may induce relapse among those who have already used disposables to quit.”

These realizations put a spanner in the works after the government’s plan to ban disposable vapes received high praise.

Positive Reception and Concerns

Reports of the government’s plan to ban disposable e-cigarettes have received positive reactions from figures such as David Fothergill, chair of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board.

Fothergill expressed his satisfaction, “Single-use vapes blight our streets as litter, are a hazard in our bin lorries, are expensive and difficult to deal with in our recycling centers. It is important that a ban is brought in at pace. Disposable vapes are an inherently unsustainable product,” he said.

However, there are apprehensions that a ban would not necessarily stop people from vaping and instead lead to an illegal vape distribution culture. Scott Butler, executive director at Material Focus, an environmental charity, warned against the potential for an “established illegal vape market” if legitimate avenues are shut down. 

Leading doctors and councils welcomed the potential ban on single-use vapes since there’s a huge influx of young people vaping without using it as a method of quitting smoking. Steve Turner, registrar for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, deemed the situation a “public health disaster” and called for stringent measures such as concealing e-cigarettes in shops. 

Industry and Retailer Perspectives

Andrej Kuttruf, CEO of the popular vape shop Evapo, deemed a ban “bad news for all smokers” and advocated for better controls and limits on access for children rather than a complete ban. “Right now there is no enforcement at all, and that is why children are buying them, no one is policing them,” he said.

“The government let it get completely out of control and a kneejerk reaction of a ban will help the black market to thrive and products will be unregulated and uncontrolled,” said Kruttruf.

John Dunne, director general of the UK Vaping Industry Association, also stated that “Disposables have proved to be highly effective in helping smokers quit their habits,” and that a ban could “lead to black markets in the sale of such products and increased smoking rates, putting smokers and vapers at significantly more risk of harm across the world”.

In the words of the Department of Health and Social Care: “We are concerned about the rise in youth vaping and the environmental impacts of disposable vapes.”

The government must find a way to strike a balance between the restrictions of vaping in children while at the same time allowing for those who use e-cigarettes to quit smoking to do so.

The post These Are The Downsides Of Banning Disposable Vapes In The UK first appeared on Edge Media.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / DedMityay.

Oscar Davies, an expert in US and UK politics and sports, is renowned for his sharp and engaging writing style, appealing to a broad spectrum of readers.

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