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Fears over ‘potentially deadly’ black market vapes if disposable e-cigs are banned next year

Fears over ‘potentially deadly’ black market vapes if disposable e-cigs are banned next year

Local UK authorities hope to ban the device due to concerns over fire hazards and the impacts on children

Disposable vapes could be banned by 2024, as UK councils call for a total ban on the popular devices.

It’s after an estimated 1.3 million e-cigarettes are thrown away a week, with the Local Government Association concerned about the potential fire hazard and surge in littering.

However, the UK Vaping Industry Association has hit back saying that ‘'potentially deadly’ black market vapes could replace them.

Councils could pose a ban by next year.
Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

In the last few years, the popularity of disposable vapes has soared with Chinese brands like Elfbar and Lost Mary now lining the counters of most UK off-licenses.

Unlike normal cigarettes, the sweet flavours and brightly colour packing are a huge draw for customers – especially those hoping to move away from traditional smoking.

While millions have started to use them up and down the country, the disposal of them hasn’t been as seamless.

It’s due to the small lithium battery inside, used to warm the nicotine vapour, which can pose a potential fire hazard - especially when crushed in bin lorries.

The Local Government Association also argued that they are ‘inherently unsustainable’, meaning that an outright ban would be ‘more effective’ than attempts to recycle the e-cigarettes.

However, the vaping industry fears a ban could lead to 'potentially deadly' black market vapes being sold as an unregulated alternative to disposables.

The UK vaping industry has expressed concerns over the potential ban.

In an interview on BBC Radio Four, the director general of the UK Vaping Industry Association said that companies were aware of their impact on the environment.

Mr Dunne explained: “The vape industry is working hard to minimise its environmental impact, but this is mainly a consumer education issue about how to dispose of used vapes, which overall are evidenced to be highly recyclable.”

He also added that disposable vapes had helped millions due to their low cost and accessibility.

"Disposables have been around for well over a decade and provide a low-priced accessible product that helps smokers to quit smoking tobacco,” he told the broadcaster.

Likewise, a spokesperson for Elfbar had similar concerns about illegal products filling a gap in the market.

"Simply calling for a ban on single-use vapes will do nothing to tackle these issues," they told the BBC. “The illicit market will simply fill the void with products that are unlicensed and unregulated containing substances that potentially pose a health risk."

Meanwhile, the Scottish government is considering banning single-use vapes and is set to make an announcement as early as this autumn.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay/Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Topics: Vaping, UK News