Vaping News

Council Demands Disposable Ban

Sheffield City Council has written to the Secretary of State to demand that the government bans disposable single-use vapes

Share on:
Sheffield City Councillors have written to the Secretary of State at the Department of Health to demand that the government bans disposable single-use vapes. The decision was made at December’s full council meeting. They say this step has been taken in response “to the increase in youth vaping and the impact these devices are having on the environment and the wellbeing of our children.”

Councillor Tom Hunt, Leader of Sheffield City Council, sent the letter to Rt Hon Victoria Atkins MP, the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care and said: “We’re already working hard in the city to reduce smoking which still causes many preventable deaths each year. Vaping has been shown to help adult smokers to quit, but if you don’t smoke you shouldn’t start vaping. We need to continue to do our best to stop children smoking, but we don’t want them to start vaping either. We want children to be healthy and not enticed by harmful products that are being deliberately marketed to them.

“In addition, the environmental impact of disposal single use vapes is too significant to not take action. This is why we are putting pressure on the Government to do what they can to protect children from harm and to protect the environment by banning the sale of single-use disposable vapes.”

The letter to the Secretary of State says:

I am writing to you on behalf of Sheffield City Council regarding single use (‘disposable’) vapes and calling on your government to ban the sale of these products. This follows a motion passed in the December 2023 Council meeting. We join many other concerned local authorities, along with health and environmental organisations across the country, who rightly recognise the impact these devices are having on the environment and the wellbeing of our children.

Pursuing a smokefree future for the people of Sheffield remains our main focus. Smoking is responsible for illness, reduced life and healthy-life expectancy, decreased workforce productivity and increased NHS and social care demand. It remains the leading cause of preventable death in the UK with 15% of all deaths in 2019 attributed to it, and a significant contributor to health disparities.

We very much welcome the recent Government proposals to raise the age of sale of tobacco and look forward to seeing this pass-through Parliament. We have written to our local MPs urging them to pledge their support for this proposal, which will benefit every single constituent in Sheffield.

We recognise that there is significant evidence that vapes are an effective and important smoking cessation aid for adults. Locally, we have introduced vapes as part of our Stop Smoking Service offer, which has contributed to large increases in referrals and four-week quits.  We have also seen the rapid increase in rates of vape use among young people. This is driven by the availability and attractiveness of disposable vapes to this vulnerable group.

We do not want to see a new generation of children addicted to nicotine through a habit that funds the tobacco industry profits and harms their health. Vaping and nicotine addiction is causing significant disruption to daily school life, including reduced attendance and poor levels of concentration. Peer pressure is driving more children to experiment with vapes. We also know some are targeted by dealers and criminal gangs and recruited to sell vapes infused with spice, THC and other substances within the school, raising serious clinical and child safeguarding issues. All this is leading to an increase in school exclusions, some children being hospitalised, both with attendant consequences.

The environmental risks posed by disposable vapes are significant. Around 5 million vapes are thrown away each week in the UK, a large source of litter on our streets. This also represents a huge waste of critical elements needed for the clean energy transition, in addition to. hazardous chemicals leaching into the soil and water.

We recognise the difficult balance that needs to be struck between protecting children and the environment, and the increased pressure that additional regulation can place on organisations responsible for enforcement. Our Trading Standards Team are working alongside South Yorkshire Police and other partners to tackle illegal and underage sales of tobacco and vapes. They inform me they are currently overwhelmed by the demand for their services.  Sheffield City Council supports a ban of disposal vapes, even if the government chooses to ban these products investment in enforcement will still be needed.

We urge the Government to ensure sufficient investment for enforcement action by Trading Standards and others to restrict the supply of illicit vapes. The additional £30m proposed by Government to target underage sales and the import of illicit tobacco and vaping products will not be enough to effectively respond to the increased demand for the illegal market. As well as sufficient resources for enforcement, counteracting this increase will require further regulation, such as that proposed in the recent consultation, to reduce the affordability, appeal and accessibility of vapes to children. Colourful, child-friendly packaging and advertisements designed specifically to target and appeal to children and young people is wholly inappropriate.

All the above considered, I believe that a ban on single-use disposable vapes is a critical move forward in addressing and curbing the trend in youth vaping, protecting both the environment and the wellbeing of our children.


Photo Credit:

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
View Articles

Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

Join the discussion

Vaping News

Harm Reduction For The Rich

The United Kingdom risks becoming a harm reduction country only for the wealthy, according to Michael Landl of the World Vapers’ Alliance

Vaping News

Sacrificing Health For 2p Cut

Tory Government alienates vaping voters with its mission to cut tax by an unaffordable 2p to attract voters by placing a tax on vape products in the forthcoming budget

Vaping News

Scotland Announces Single-Use Vape Action

A ban on the sale and supply of single-use vapes in Scotland is due to come into effect on 1 April 2025, under proposed legislation published today

Vaping News

Industry Licensing Scheme Proposed

A vape industry licensing scheme will generate £50m+ per year to combat underage and illicit vape sales according to industry experts