We should ban disposable single use vapes

As the LGA Liberal Democrat Group’s spokesperson on health issues, I am very pleased that we may be seeing a successful outcome to the call by LGA and councils to ban disposable single use vapes. The government have just announced that they are looking at bringing in legislation to ban single use vapes.

In consultation with our Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP I have successfully called for the Local Government Association to back a ban, especially given the plethora of alternative vapes available for smokers to use as an aid to quit. Evidence shows that there is an alarming increase in the number of children vaping and of the detrimental impact of disposable vaping products upon the environment.

I am not anti-vaping as I recognise for some it can help people cut down on smoking but single use vapes blight our streets as litter, are a hazard in council’s bin lorries, are expensive and difficult to deal with in our recycling centres in addition to the health hazards. Their colours, flavours and advertising are appealing to children and are a risk to the health of young people.

As Liberals we try to avoid banning things – but in this case it is about preventing harm especially to children. Re-usable vapes will still be available for those wanting to quit smoking.

It is important that a ban is brought in as soon as possible. Disposable vapes are an inherently unsustainable product, meaning an outright ban will prove the most effective solution to this problem.

* Sarah Osborne is the LGA Lib Dem Group spokes on health and social care.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Andrew Tampion 29th Sep '23 - 7:06am

    “As Liberals we try to avoid banning things – but…” call me a libertarian if you must but I think that as liberals we should always think twice before banning anything. More importantly we should consider all possible alternatives to banning something, which should always be the last resort. There is nothing in this piece about what alternative have been tried or considered.
    Is it illegal for under 18s to buy vapes, whether disposable or not. If so why is it not possible to enforce the law by taking action against shopkeepers who sell vapes or adults who buy vapes for children? That is what we do in the case of cigarettes.
    “…but single use vapes blight our streets as litter, are a hazard in council’s bin lorries….” If that is true and these problems can’t be dealt with in any other way then ban them for this reason. Lot’s of thing’s cause litter vand are difficult for councils to deal with, chewing gum for example. As before the soltion is to enforce the law, in this case against littering. If vapes really are a hazzard why are they legal at all.
    More information please.

  • I’m a vaper myself. My objection to single use vapes is not this nanny state, “won’t somebody think of the children???” rubbish, which as Andrew says, could be dealt with under many existing provisions, but their environmental cost.

    The rate earth metals used in their batteries would be far better put to use in the electric cars we’re going to need. Using them in a disposable product is incredibly shortsighted.

  • Nonconformistradical 29th Sep '23 - 7:59am

    Agree about the need to enforce existing laws.

    But there appears to be a serious problem with batteries from single use vapes causing fires during waste disposal. That’s wrecking bin lorries, potentially reducing the quantity of material recycled successfully and causing fires in landfill.

    That seems to me a good enough reason for banning the things.

    I’d go further and suggest there is a serious problem with batteries in modern electronic devices of all kinds. When they’ve reached the end of their useful life these devices shouldn’t just be chucked into the WEEE bin at the recycling centre without removing the battery first for separate disposal. But removing the battery isn’t always easy – so if it isn’t being done that doesn’t surprise me.

  • Andrew Tampion 29th Sep '23 - 9:21am

    Thank you for the information Jennie. At the risk of going off topic. If the rare earth metals used in vapes are needed for other more important purposes why are they cheap enough to be used in a disposable product?

  • Martin Gray 29th Sep '23 - 9:51am

    Another we know best nanny state posts …
    Online betting limits & now this …
    “As Liberals we try to avoid banning things “…
    We’ve seemed to have banned any reasoned debate in the name of inclusivity…We won’t get that luxury in a GE campaign…

  • George Thomas 30th Sep '23 - 10:40am

    “I am not anti-vaping as I recognise for some it can help people cut down on smoking”

    I wonder what percentage of vapers use it as a means of quitting/significantly cutting down on smoking? I.e. what percentage are new starters having not previously smoked, what percentage are ex-smokers who vape just as much as they used to smoke and what percentage are people using it for (what is currently believed to be) positive health benefits?

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