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Tags: safety, vape

UK to ban disposable vapes amid fire safety and environmental concerns

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New legislation targets disposable vapes to enhance fire safety

In a landmark move, the UK government has announced a ban on disposable vapes, citing significant fire safety risks alongside environmental concerns.

This decision forms part of a broader initiative to address the surge in youth vaping and protect public health, detailed by the Prime Minister during a visit to a local school on 29 January 2024.

Recent figures have indicated an increase in the number of children using vapes, with usage among 11 to 15-year-olds rising to 9%.

The government’s comprehensive package aims to curb this trend through various measures, including the newly announced ban on disposable vapes, known for their contribution to the rise in youth vaping.

Fire safety risks highlighted

The ban is underpinned by alarming evidence linking disposable vapes to an increase in fires within recycling and waste management facilities.

Gavin Graveson, Veolia Senior Executive Vice President for Northern Europe, underscored the fire safety hazard posed by disposed vapes: “Millions of disposable vapes have been littered causing environmental damage or thrown in bins where they cause weekly fires in recycling and waste trucks as well as treatment facilities.”

This move also aligns with the government’s environmental objectives, addressing the challenge of hard-to-recycle waste and the growing stream of litter from disposable vapes.

Measures to protect youth and environment

In addition to fire safety, the government’s plan includes restrictions on vape flavours and packaging to make them less appealing to children, alongside tougher penalties for illegal sales to minors.

This comprehensive strategy aims not only to safeguard children’s health but also to mitigate the fire risks associated with vape disposal.

The announcement has garnered support from various quarters, including environmental groups and fire safety advocates, who have long voiced concerns over the risks disposable vapes pose to both public safety and the environment.

IFSJ Comment

The UK government’s decision to ban disposable vapes marks a critical step in addressing the intertwined issues of fire safety, public health, and environmental protection.

By targeting the disposal of vapes, which have been identified as a significant fire hazard in waste management processes, the legislation mitigates a known risk to fire safety.

This proactive measure underscores the importance of integrating fire safety considerations into public health and environmental policies, reflecting a holistic approach to safeguarding the community and the environment.

As this legislation moves forward, it will be essential to monitor its implementation and effectiveness in reducing fire incidents, promoting public health, and protecting the environment.

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