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Wales to join England and Scotland in banning disposable vapes

Wales is to join England and Scotland in banning disposable vapes.

The Welsh Government will also support UK Government legislation to increase the smoking age so children turning 15 this year or younger can never legally be sold tobacco.

A UK-wide consultation on smoking and vaping closed on December 6 and received 27,921 responses – 1,018 from Wales.

The Welsh Government, along with the UK and Scottish governments, intends to introduce legislation to implement a ban on disposable vapes, including both nicotine and non-nicotine products due to their significant environmental impacts.

Lynne Neagle, the Welsh Government’s deputy minister for mental health and wellbeing, said: “Smoking is the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in Wales.

“It causes a quarter of all cancer deaths in the UK and is responsible for 80,000 preventable deaths in the UK of which around 5,600 are in Wales, each year.

“Whilst vapes can be useful to some smokers in supporting smoking cessation, data shows the number of children using vapes has tripled in the past three years.

“Due to their nicotine content and the unknown long-term harms, vaping carries a risk of harm and addiction for children.

“The use of single-use vapes has also grown in recent years to the point that almost five million are either littered or thrown away each week.

“Not only is this extremely wasteful because of their hard-to-recycle components but disposable vapes are known to be used by children and when littered they can release toxic chemicals into the environment.

“We want to take all actions possible to stop young people from starting smoking in the first place, to prevent youth vaping and to tackle the effects single-use vapes are having on our environment.

“I am grateful to all those from Wales who contributed to this consultation. We will now work jointly with the other nations and take collective action to tackle the harms caused by smoking and youth vaping across the UK.”

The UK Government will bring forward a Tobacco and Vapes Bill at the earliest opportunity to introduce powers to restrict flavours which are specifically marketed at children, ensure that manufacturers produce plainer packaging and change how vapes are displayed in shops, moving them out of children’s sight.

New £100 fines will be brought in for shops in England and Wales which sell vapes illegally to children.

Trading standards officers will be given powers to act “on the spot” to tackle underage tobacco and vape sales. This builds on a maximum £2,500 fine that local authorities can already impose.