German Organizations Call for National Ban on Disposable Vapes

Germany calls for disposable vape ban

A diverse coalition of German organizations, including the BDE, the German Environmental Aid (DUH), the German Medical Association, and other social organizations, has come together to urge Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke to swiftly implement a nationwide ban on disposable vapes. In an open letter, the groups highlight the significant health hazards, environmental damage, and fire risks associated with these products.

A Multifaceted Threat: Health, Environment, and Safety Concerns

The surge in the use of disposable vapes poses a multitude of problems. Not only do these products pose a serious health risk, particularly to children and young people, but they also consume vast amounts of resources and can cause devastating fires due to the lithium-ion batteries they contain.

BDE President Anja Siegesmund emphasizes the wastefulness and potential for harm associated with disposable e-cigarettes. “The disposable e-cigarette is designed as a throwaway product: after a short period of use, it ends up in the residual waste, in the paper bin, in the yellow bag or somewhere else. This is fatal because the lithium-ion batteries in them cause fires very quickly: hardly a day goes by without a garbage truck or recycling plant catching fire, sometimes causing total damage. Without effective countermeasures, disposal safety is at risk. Therefore: disposable vapes should be banned because they waste resources and cause great damage.”

Environmental Impact and Critical Raw Materials

Barbara Metz, Federal Managing Director of the DUH, highlights the environmental damage caused by the production and disposal of disposable e-cigarettes. “Disposable e-cigarettes are a completely unnecessary and climate-damaging product that no one really needs and should be banned. Their production and disposal in particular cause great environmental damage. Disposable e-cigarettes contain critical raw materials such as lithium, cobalt or copper, the mining of which destroys nature and consumes large amounts of water. The production of the powerful batteries causes high greenhouse gas emissions. Disposable e-cigarettes are short-lived and become electronic waste after just one use cycle. In addition, these products are often disposed of incorrectly, meaning that the valuable materials they contain cannot be recycled. We call on Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke to stipulate a ban on disposable e-cigarettes in the current amendment to the Electrical Equipment Act.”

Health Concerns and Appeal to Young People

Dr. Klaus Reinhardt, President of the German Medical Association, underscores the health risks and the appeal of disposable e-cigarettes to young people. “With their flavors and packaging designs, e-cigarettes are particularly attractive to children and young people. The disposable versions in particular appeal to young people because of their low price. From a medical point of view, it is clear: disposable e-cigarettes must be banned.”

Broad Support for a Ban

The open letter to the Federal Environment Ministry has garnered support from a wide range of organizations, including the BDE Federal Association of German Waste Management, Water and Recycling Industries, the German Environmental Aid Association, the German Medical Association together with the Action Alliance for Non-Smoking, the bvse Federal Association for Secondary Raw Materials and Disposal, the German Respiratory League, the German Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine (DGKJ), the German Society for Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine, the German Lung Foundation (DLS), the German Children’s Fund, the German Cancer Research Center, the German Nature Conservation Union (NABU), and the Association of Municipal Enterprises (VKU).

As the coalition of organizations calls for swift action, the German government faces mounting pressure to address the multifaceted threats posed by disposable e-cigarettes and protect public health, the environment, and safety.

Source: Einweg-E-Zigaretten: Breites Bündnis von Organisationen fordert nationales Verbot

Matthew Ma