Urgent Call to Ban Disposable Vapes Amid Rising Usage Among UK Children

Vapes Usage Among UK Children

We’re diving into a critical topic that’s been hitting the headlines recently: the call for a ban on single-use vapes in the United Kingdom. This demand comes in the wake of a startling statistic – as many as 15% of UK children between the ages of 11 and 15 are using these devices. So, let’s delve into the details, weigh the arguments, and consider the possible repercussions of a vape ban.

The ever-evolving vape sector has seen a significant uptick in the popularity of disposable vapes, a trend that’s not only caught the attention of health officials but also has our ministers feeling the heat. Although it’s illegal to sell e-cigarettes to under-18s, expert estimates suggest a worrying number of minors are using vapes.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak expressed his concerns over his daughters being “seduced” by heavily flavoured products, often packed in vibrant colours. Does the colourful marketing of these products seem appealing to children? Is it time to reevaluate the branding strategies of the vape industry?

Health groups are voicing their worries about the government’s approach, which encourages vape use as a healthier alternative to traditional tobacco products. This shift towards vaping as a smoking cessation method has its detractors, with critics highlighting the limited knowledge about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes.

The popularity of disposable vapes has exploded among young e-cigarette users, becoming the product of choice for more than half of them. Health groups and environmental organisations have submitted evidence to the government review, advocating for an outright ban on these devices. But is a total ban the answer?

Liberal Democrats are calling for a ban on single-use vapes, while Labour has demanded restrictions on marketing tactics that make them appealing to children. With these differing views on tackling the issue, what’s the best course of action to protect our youth?

Statistics show that 9% of 11-15 year olds use e-cigarettes, but some suggest the real figure could be as high as 15%. Disturbingly, studies indicate that young people who vape are three times more likely to start smoking than those who don’t.

Concerns have also been raised about the types of single-use vapes favoured by children. Tests on vapes from a secondary school found many contained dangerously high levels of lead, nickel, and chromium.

Lib Dem health spokesperson Daisy Cooper calls for stricter regulation on vapes, such as age warnings, an end to child-targeted advertising, and a ban on the sale of single-use vapes. Should the government do more to reduce children’s easy access to vaping?

However, Neil O’Brien, Junior Health Minister, sees vaping as a “double-edged sword”. Although acknowledging the risk of children developing a nicotine addiction, he believes vaping is less harmful than smoking and can be an effective tool for quitting smoking.

The UK Vaping Industry Association is pushing for more government action to prevent children from buying vapes but opposes a ban on single-use devices. They argue there are more effective ways to address the youth access issue without banning any vaping category, which could potentially drive smoking rates back up.

The Department of Health and Social Care asserts that selling vapes to children is already illegal, and they’re exploring further ways to combat youth vaping through their newly launched call for evidence. A new illicit vapes enforcement squad has also been announced, backed by £3m to remove illegal products from the market.


In conclusion, we find ourselves at a crucial crossroads. The rising popularity of single-use vapes among UK children has triggered a storm of concerns, leading to a call for a ban on these products. Stricter regulation, greater oversight, and an increased focus on child-friendly marketing strategies are needed. The debate continues, but the ultimate goal remains clear: protecting our children’s health.


1. What is the percentage of UK children using vapes?
Experts suggest as many as 15% of 11- to 15-year-olds use vapes.

2. Why is there a call for a ban on single-use vapes?
There is a rising concern over their popularity among children and the possible health risks associated with their use.

3. What are the proposed measures to curb the use of vapes among children?
Proposals include stricter regulation, age warnings on packages, and an end to child-targeted advertising.

4. What is the stance of health groups and political parties on this issue?
Health groups, along with the Liberal Democrats, are calling for a complete ban on single-use vapes. However, Labour is calling for restrictions on marketing tactics.

5. What is the government’s current action plan?
The government has launched a call for evidence to explore further ways to combat youth vaping and has announced a new enforcement squad to remove illegal vape products from the market.

Matthew Ma