UK to impose sales ban on disposable vapes under Sunak government

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to unveil proposals that would prohibit the sale of disposable vaping devices. This measure aims to curb vape usage among youth.

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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is set to unveil new plans on Monday aimed at curtailing use of vape among youths in the UK. The proposals include banning the sale of disposable vapes and restricting the flavors that can be used in vaping products.

Sunak said in a statement that the moves are intended to "leave a lasting legacy by protecting our children's health for the long term." He pointed out that smoking remains Britain's biggest preventable killer, causing around 80,000 deaths annually.

The prime minister already announced last October that, under a new law, anyone born after January 1, 2009 would be barred from ever legally purchasing tobacco products. The thinking is that by preventing young people from accessing cigarettes and vapes, lifelong nicotine addiction can be avoided.

Vapes have been promoted as an effective cessation tool for adult smokers looking to quit. However, their rapid growth in popularity among youth has raised concerns. Government data indicate 9% of 11-15 year olds now vape regularly.

Along with the public health benefits, the ban on disposable vapes is expected to reduce waste, as around 5 million disposable vapes are tossed away in Britain every week.

The vaping industry argues that flavored vapes play an important role in transitioning adult smokers away from more harmful tobacco products. But Sunak seems resolute in prioritizing youth protection, stating, "I have an obligation to do what I think is the right thing for our country in the long term."