CultureLocal councils call for vape ban by 2024

Local councils call for vape ban by 2024

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Local councils urge disposable vapes to be banned by 2024 in the UK due to concerns for the safety of young people

The Local Government Association (LGA) has called for disposable vapes to be banned as concerns grow for the health of young teenagers being exposed to harmful amounts of lead, nickel and chromium. 

Vaping devices have become increasingly popular amongst teenagers and young adults. Their exotic flavouring and bold packaging appear to attract younger teenagers. Although selling vapes to under18s is illegal, some question whether vape manufacturers are intentionally targeting younger buyers.

Illegal vapes contain high levels of lead and nickel indicating young people are consuming twice the daily safe amount of lead and nine times the safe amount of nickel. However, legal vaping devices are commonly viewed as safer alternatives to smoking and incentivise smokers to convert to e-cigarettes.

Reasons for the ban

  • Health concerns: studies link vaping to respiratory/lung issues and long-term health risks. The ban aims to protect public health and shield teenagers that are vulnerable to harmful products. 
  • Regulation: many illegal vape manufacturers have entered the market without adequate safety checks. The ban aims to cover the regulatory gaps that exist in the vaping market.
  • Marketing: questionable marketing tactics targeting the young have promoted asymmetric information that has potentially misled many buyers within the market. Hence, the ban discourages a potential spike in nicotine addicts. 
Photograph: Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Should the ban go ahead

Bans imposed by 2024 may lead to the rise of a black market for illicit vaping products that may pose even greater safety risks. Moreover, bans may incentivise some individuals to revert back to traditional smoking.

The UK Vaping Industry Association opposes the LGA’s proposal of banning vaping in this statement:

“Experience across the world shows that where blanket bans have been introduced on regulated single-use vapes, there is a massive influx or illegal untested and potentially deadly black-market products which take their place, and this is in nobody’s interest” 

Although the decision to ban vapes reflects the growing concerns over public health, for some banning vapes is viewed as counterintuitive. The risks imposed by banning vapes appear far greater a hindrance than a solution in protecting public health.

Instead, there is a need for tighter regulation of the vaping industry so that ingredient transparency, manufacturing standards and product safety are maintained. 

Ultimately, the ban would restrict the personal freedom of many. Surely people should be free to make autonomous decisions without the council infringing on their individual choices. Older teenagers and young adults have the right to make informed decisions about their health. Hence, One must question whether the council is overstepping.

Sharon Adebola
Sharon Adebola
Sharon Adebola content creator for the TCS Network. Sharon is a polymath and advocate for amplifying young voices in the political field. Being on numerous news platforms such s Sky and BBC News have invigorated her passion to be a voice for the voiceless and represent the concerns of her community. Two/thirds into her Politics degree, Sharon is keen to relay the political literacy she has gained to a plethora of individuals. Apart from that she is a Young Leader for the political charity My Life My Say and the President of King’s Gospel Society.

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