E-cigarettes ban would be counterproductive to war against underage smoking

Such a ban would also do little to stop underage vaping, the report argues. The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) report shows that 35 percent of adult vapers use disposables and a ban could result in some returning to smoking cigarettes.

It comes amid reports that the government could ban disposable vapes. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has warned that it is “ridiculous” that vapes are targeted at kids.

The IEA’s Head of Lifestyle Economics Christopher Snowdon warned: “We do not ban cider just because some teenagers drink it.

“We do not ban 18 certificate films because some teenagers watch them. We do not even ban cigarettes because some teenagers smoke them.”

The report argues that a ban could risk some returning to cigarettes. It also highlights that a ban could result in the proliferation of unregulated and unsafe vaping products on the black market.

A recent analysis of vapes confiscated from a school in Kidderminster found that most were already illegal products, with many containing high levels of lead, nickel and chromium.

READ MORE Vaping ‘barbeques your lungs’ doctor warns – ‘worse’ than smoking

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), which also opposes a single-use e-cigarette ban, have said making e-cigarettes illegal “won’t help” because children are already being sold the product illegally.

“The sale of illegal disposable vapes, already large and growing, will be turbo-charged if they are banned,” ASH warn. Australia, where e-cigarettes containing nicotine have always been banned, also have an ongoing problem with children purchasing unregulated e-cigarettes on the black market.

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Mr Snowden added: “Good laws are seldom made in a climate of hysteria. There are understandable concerns about youth vaping, but the problem would be better addressed by enforcing the laws that already exist than by prohibiting an entire category of e-cigarettes.

“It is too easy for teenagers to buy vapes illegally – and the vapes themselves are often illegal and unregulated. The government should take a calm and rational look at the unintended consequences that could arise from a ban on disposable vapes before banning an effective alternative to cigarettes.”

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