Welsh Government call on Westminster to ban single-use vapes

The powers to implement such a ban are in the hands of the UK Government as they are not devolved.

The Welsh Government has called on its Westminster counterparts to ban the sale of single-use vape pens.

Ministers in Cardiff say they want a "comprehensive ban" in order to "address youth vaping".

Public Health Wales recently said a snapshot survey found two-thirds of year 10 pupils who vape daily show signs of nicotine dependency.

The powers to implement such a ban are in the hands of the UK Government as they are not devolved.

The calls come after reports suggested the UK Government was considering outlawing the sale of single-use vapes.

Welsh Ministers plan to bring the issue up with the UK Government during a meeting later this week.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “To protect public health and the environment, we want to see a comprehensive ban on disposable single use vapes as part of a suite of measures to address youth vaping.

"Welsh Ministers will be meeting UK Government on this issue later this week”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: We are concerned about the rise in youth vaping and the environmental impacts of disposable vapes.

“That is why we launched a call for evidence to identify opportunities to reduce the number of children accessing and using vaping products – and explore where the government can go further. We will set out our response in due course.”

The concerns from the Welsh Government follow a report from Public Health Wales said last month that said the issue of youth vaping needed to be "urgently addressed".

Ash Wales believe other options should be explored before an outright ban of single-use disposable vapes.

Dr Julie Bishop form Public Health Wales said at the time: “Vaping has not been around long enough for the risks of long-term use to be fully understood particularly among young people where there may be greater risks to the developing brain. 

“Unfortunately, there is some evidence that use of vaping products is growing among young people in Wales and schools are increasingly raising concern about the impact vaping is having on some young people’s education. 

“The establishment of the incident response group will allow Public Health Wales to gain an insight into the current extent of this issue, as well as identify opportunities with partners in education, healthcare and Welsh Government to prevent further harms as soon as possible."

Ash Wales, a charity whose aim is to create a smoke-free Wales, says more thought needs to be put into the unintended consequences of an outright ban.Suzanne Cass, the CEO of Ash Wales, told ITV Wales other measures such as pricing, visibility in shops and the flavours that vapes can be sold in should be looked at first.

She said: "We need robust measures towards addressing youth vaping. What we'd like to see is a tax on the products to make sure they're priced out of the hands of children, putting them above that £5 mark.

"One of the things that we could put into place which would really make sure that children don't have access to the products is a point of sale display ban in the same way we have tobacco products.

"Making sure that children can't see these products on a daily basis, and that they are out of sight and out of mind."

The Welsh and UK Government's will meet to discuss the proposals to ban single-use disposable vapes by the end of this week.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know…