The government have discussed plans to ban disposable vapes due to the impact on teenagers as well as environmental concerns.
Elf Bars have become a staple of day-to-day life in the UK over the last few years, especially among teenagers and uni students. However, the government could be putting a stop to this. It’s no secret that vaping isn’t good for your health but with over 25% of uni students addicted to vaping and one Elf Bar having the equivalent nicotine dosage to 48 cigarettes, health concerns are growing.
Reports are suggesting that this proposed ban could be introduced and announced from as soon as next week, with plans due to be revealed in a consultation issued by the Department of Health and Social Care next week.
Why do the government want disposable vapes to be banned?
There are two main reasons why the government wants to impose a ban on disposable vapes. The first is that many vape products are increasingly aimed at under 18s and teenagers and it is all too easy to become addicted. A survey from The Tab revealed that 51% of students who vaped did not previously smoke cigarettes, and with such a high nicotine dosage, someone who goes through 2 Elf Bars a week would be inhaling the equivalent of 96 cigarettes.
Elf Bars and other disposable vapes also come in endless flavours that help to add to the appeal and are widely available for under 18s, either by ordering online or using Deliveroo or JustEat to get them delivered straight to their front door, often not being asked for ID.
To add to the controversy, a new brand of disposable vape called High Light has been introduced which is designed to look like a highlighter pen to make it easy for school-aged children to sneak vapes into school while teachers are none the wiser. This type of vape is clearly aimed at those under 18 and poses a huge health risk.
The second reason for the potential ban is the environmental risk. With over 5 million disposable vapes being thrown away or discarded in the UK each week, this is equivalent to 8 vapes per second. The lithium content in the amount of discarded vapes is enough to create 5,000 electric car batteries a year.
If we’re no longer allowed plastic straws or cutlery at Starbucks, it does pose the question as to why most single-use plastic is on the way to being removed from everyday life, but disposable vapes are still so popular when the environmental impact is so high.
What will banning disposable vapes do?
Of course, this is a move that won’t be popular with a lot of people. However, if disposable vapes were to be banned, it wouldn’t necessarily get rid of the problem of young people becoming addicted to nicotine. While the environmental problem may be improved, disposable vapes being banned won’t stop people who want to vape from vaping.
Teenagers and students have smoked cigarettes for years and have always found a way to get their hands on them, regardless of age. While the government have made many moves to make smoking less appealing from removing logos, adding graphic warning photos and ‘SMOKING KILLS’ printed all over the packet, it does little to deter those who want to smoke.
Disposable vapes being banned will only increase the demand for reusable vapes, such as Juuls which were popular in 2018-2019, before the rise in popularity of disposable vapes. Juuls are just as easy to use and purchase as Elf Bars, with disposable pods being added to the vape which come in a range of flavours. Instead of throwing away your Juul, you simply place it on charge and buy new Juul pods once they’ve run out.
Plus, many on TikTok are debating whether smoking is being glamorised and making a comeback thanks to a range of young celebs such as Jenna Ortega and Dua Lipa being spotted smoking in public rather than vaping–– which is proof that no matter how many new products are introduced, smoking will always be an option that people seem to go back to.
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