Councillors from Kent County Council have written to the Government asking for an outright ban on disposable vapes.
A motion was passed by Kent County Council (KCC) in July 2023 to lobby the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to stop the sale of the products because of the danger they pose to children’s health, and their impact on the environment.
The vapes, which are an increasingly popular alternative to tobacco, are used to inhale nicotine-infused vapour. Disposable vapes are now offered in bright, attractive packaging with sweet fruit flavours designed to attract younger users.
The KCC motion to request the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to request that disposable vapes are banned was carried by a majority of members.
Opponents to the ban say that KCC have gone down this route because the councils Trading Standards department cannot keep up with the number of complaints made about vapes, or enforce the WEEE directives on waste disposal.
Green Party member Jenni Hawkins, who proposed the ban among KCC members, said lithium used in the single use item’s battery should be recycled. The vapes are also alleged to be unstable and prone to bursting into flames if crushed. More than 700 bin lorry fires and recycling centres were as a result of disposables.
Vapes should only ever have been allowed on prescription to help smokers quit smoking as per their original intention
Greenpeace have also stepped up measures to oppose disposable vapes. They claim that vapes are littering our communities, leaking chemicals into the environment and endangering local wildlife.
The environmental group also claim that two disposable vapes are thrown away every second in the UK – that’s 1.3 million a week.
Greenpeace have opened an online petition where they are seeking 200,000 signatures on the subject. They already have over 151,000 signatures and you can add your own to the petition here.