Scotland is considering imposing a ban on disposable vapes, the Scottish health minister has confirmed.
Asked in Scottish parliament whether they might be banned, he revealed that a panel of experts would look into the question of disposable vapes and a ban would be considered.
Over four million Brits are regular vapers and the cigarette substitute is stocked in almost every supermarket, with huge demand for vaping devices and refills, as well as the often brightly coloured disposable ones.
The number of traditional smokers in the UK has dropped to the lowest level on record and a surge in vaping is seen as one of the major contributing factors, but there are also many vapers who got into it without smoking beforehand and while less risky than cigarettes, vaping is not without health risks.
Environmental campaigners had also raised concerns over the issues posed by the lithium batteries contained within the vapes.
Packed full of plastic, copper and lithium, disposable vapes are technically Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, meaning buyers should dispose of them at a household recycling centre or the shop they bought it from.
Scottish health minister Humza Yousaf was asked in parliament yesterday (19 January) about a possible ban by Green MSP Gillian Mackay.
Yousaf explained that the Scottish government was looking into the matter with a view to having a plan ready to go by autumn, and a ban on disposable vapes would be considered as one of the options.
He said: "Gillian Mackay is absolutely right, there’s a public health issue that we are exploring and will explore.
"We will ask stakeholders with the relevant expertise to examine the evidence and assess what action the Scottish Government and other partners should take.
"That will include consideration of a potential ban."
Yousaf also paid tribute to campaigner Laura Young, who has been dubbed the 'vaped crusader' for her efforts in Dundee to pick up the garish devices as they are littered about the streets.
Along with the environmental concerns, which Yousaf said there was 'limited evidence' to support, there are health risks to vaping backed up by the World Health Organization.
There have been warnings that smoking one disposable vape can be the equivalent of smoking up to 50 cigarettes worth of highly addictive nicotine.
Experts have warned that there is still a 'reasonable' risk of smoking related health issues such as lung cancer, while dentists have said that smoking disposable vapes can be bad for your teeth.
Another health concern to consider is the risk posed by all the litter they can leave behind, as there are plenty of disposable vapes going around which don't get disposed of properly.
One lad almost had to have his foot amputated after stepping on a disposable vape and having it puncture through the sole of his shoe and impale the underside of his foot.