France to ban single-use disposable vapes as part of anti-smoking plan

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

France is set to ban single-use disposable vapes because of the health and environmental hazards they possess.

The new measures are part of a new anti-smoking plan being drawn up by the Government which campaign groups have said should be enforced by the end of the year.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne warned vapes “create a reflex, a gesture, which children get used to, and then end up being drawn to tobacco”.

The products cost approximately €9 (£7.70) and offer around 600 puffs, the equivalent to 40 cigarettes and have been described as a “sly trap for children and adolescents”, by France’s National Academy of Medicine.

Earlier this month, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed a large increase in vaping among teenagers and young adults in Britain.

In 2022, 15.5 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds said they vaped daily or occasionally, up from 11.1 per cent in 2021.

Last year, 40 children and young people were admitted to hospital in England for “vaping-related disorders”, which could include lung damage or worsening asthma symptoms, up from 11 two years earlier, the NHS said.

The UK is considering introducing a similar ban on single-use vapes.

Science and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan recently told Sky News: “We have been looking into this and have been doing a review because this is a very worrying trend that we’re seeing of young children taking up vaping that had never smoked before, and it is extremely dangerous to their health and their wellbeing.

“It’s something that we do need to act on and, as a Government, what we’re trying to do is recognise what are the key challenges and grip them.”

England’s chief medical officer, Professor Sir Chris Whitty, added: “If you smoke, vaping is much safer; if you don’t smoke, don’t vape; marketing vapes to children is utterly unacceptable.”

While single-use vapes carry health hazards, they are also an environmental nuisance with an estimated five million disposable vapes thrown away each week in the UK.

Further research carried out by non-profit organisation Material Focus, said UK adults buy approximately 30 million vapes a month.

The research also showed that just 17 per cent of vapers dispose of their vapes in the correct recycling bins with the organisation estimating that all those thrown away could provide batteries for 5,000 electric cars.