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Vape fans claim Government ban will cause some users to renew smoking

Vape activists claim Government ban of disposable e-cigarettes ‘will cause one in five users to return to tobacco’

  • Vape advocates say a ban would cause one in five to return to smoking tobacco 

Vaping advocates have hit out at Government plans to ban disposable e-cigarettes and their sweet flavours, claiming it would see one in five users switch back to smoking.

Legislation to allow tighter restrictions was announced in the King’s Speech last Tuesday, with Ministers said to be considering limiting vape flavours to tobacco and mint, banning shop displays, introducing plain packaging and a total ban on disposable vapes.

Last month, Health Secretary Steve Barclay said of particular concern was the ‘way vapes are being marketed to children, making them look like sweets’.

The environmental impact of millions of disposables, which contain batteries, piling up in landfill, was also a worry.

However the move could backfire, said David Phillips of Vape Superstore, which surveyed 1,000 customers and found that 21 per cent of disposable vape users would go back to smoking.

Disposable vapes flavoured like sweets and fruits which are targeted towards teenagers could be banned, it has been claimed (file photo) 

Experts have stressed their concern at children not being fully aware of the contents of e-cigarettes, with many so anxious for their next ‘fix’ they are begging teachers to let them vape at school


The poll also suggested that outlawing sweet ‘e-liquids’ – used with refillable vape pens – would see a third of vapers return to tobacco, while one in seven would resort to buying products with their favourite flavours on the black market. These findings echo previous research that suggested flavours were a key reason for smokers switching to vaping.

Studies have also found that measures such as plain packaging gave the false impression that smoking and vaping were equally harmful, making smokers less likely to switch.

Speaking to the MoS earlier this year, Professor Alan Boobis, head of the UK’s Committee on Toxicity, said: ‘I don’t think anyone who has looked carefully at the research would say there’s evidence that vaping is harmful.’

There are chemicals in vapes alongside nicotine, including preservatives and flavouring. But, added Prof Boobis, levels of most of these are ‘very low and comparable or below the amount found normally in the air’.

Mr Phillips said: ‘It’s alarming to see one in five vapers might consider returning to smoking if disposable vapes were banned.’

Vape use has soared from about 700,000 adult users in 2012 to 4.7 million this year.

Of these, about 2.7 million are ex-smokers, according to health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

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  • Posted on November 17, 2023