Northern Ireland to Ban Disposable Vapes by 2025

Northern Ireland ban disposable vapes 2025

In a groundbreaking move, the Northern Ireland Executive has announced plans to end the sale and supply of disposable vapes by April 2025. The decision comes amidst growing concerns over the environmental impact of discarded e-cigarettes and the alarming rise in their use among children and adolescents.

Environmental Concerns Prompt Action

According to the BBC and Belfast Telegraph, approximately 5 million disposable vapes are discarded or littered across the UK each week. Northern Ireland Environment Minister Andrew Muir acknowledged the ambitious nature of the ban but expressed a strong determination to implement the policy, citing the devastating effects of e-cigarette waste on the environment and biodiversity.

Disposable vapes introduce plastic, nicotine, metal, and lithium-ion batteries into the environment, contributing significantly to the overall waste problem. The Northern Ireland government plans to enact legislation to ban the sale and supply of these devices, effective from April 1st, 2024.

Growing Concern Over Youth Vaping

Joseph Carter, head of the respiratory charity Asthma + Lung UK, welcomed the decision, emphasizing the growing concern of e-cigarette use among children and adolescents. A survey conducted by the organization found that over 80% of respondents in Northern Ireland were worried about children and teenagers with no smoking history using e-cigarettes and the possibility of encountering them in schools.

Data released by the UK government in January 2023 revealed that the number of children and adolescents who smoke e-cigarettes in the UK has tripled in the past three years, with 9% of those aged 11 to 15 found to be using these devices.

Alarming Rise in Disposable Vape Use Among Youth

The UK Department of Education conducted a study that highlighted a particularly concerning trend: the rate of disposable vape use among adolescents aged 11 to 17 has increased nearly ninefold in just two years. As of 2023, 69% of adolescent e-cigarette smokers in this age group used disposable vape, up from just 7.7% in 2021.

The Department of Education noted that the long-term health effects of disposable e-cigarettes remain unknown, and the potential for nicotine addiction is highly concerning.

UK-Wide Efforts to Curb Youth Vaping

In addition to Northern Ireland’s ban, the UK House of Commons recently passed a law prohibiting 15-year-olds born in 2009 from purchasing tobacco and restricting the sale of disposable vapes. All UK devolved administrations supported the legislation, with Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland working on their own legislation to implement it by 2025.

As the UK takes steps to address the growing problem of youth vaping and the environmental impact of disposable e-cigarettes, it remains to be seen how effective these measures will be in curbing the alarming trends highlighted by recent studies.

News source:  Naver

Matthew Ma