Harrogate health and education leaders welcome proposal to ban single-use vapes from 2025
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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wants to tackle the rising number of young people taking up vaping.
It’s already illegal to sell a vape to an under 18 but colourful disposable vapes are finding their way into the hands of children.
Vaping is not as harmful as smoking cigarettes but doctors believe it may still cause long-term damage to young people’s lungs, hearts and brains.
Danny Wild, Principal of Harrogate College, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the ban will be a “really good thing” for the health of young people in the town.
He said many students at the college have turned to vaping as a support mechanism following a stressful few years due to the Covid pandemic.
Mr Wild said: “What we’re finding in colleges and schools is young people are becoming addicted to vaping from earlier ages.
"I’m concerned about the health impacts but also on their thinking at such a key time for them.
“I’ve noticed over the last 18 months they are using the vapes like how a small child would use a blanket and for some students, it relaxes them.”
Last year, North Yorkshire Council held a survey of more than 17,000 school chidren across the county which revealed one in three aged 13 to 15 had tried vaping, while nine per cent said they used them regularly.
Worryingly for parents, the study also found five per cent of 10 and 11-year-olds pupils had tried vaping too.
North Yorkshire Council is backing the proposed ban with Louise Wallace, Director of Public Health, saying smoking remains the largest preventable cause of death in England.
She added: “A ban on disposable vapes will help to protect our planet, keep children safe and save taxpayers money.”
There have been reports from elsewhere in the country of children being hospitalised due to the effects of vaping on their lungs.
A spokesperson for Harrogate District Hospital said they weren’t aware of any similar cases here but added the ban will help tackle the rise in youth vaping and protect children’s health.
They said: “Whilst vaping can be an effective tool for helping people quit smoking, it is not risk free.
"The healthiest option is not to smoke or vape.
"Vaping is not suitable for children and young people and that is why it is illegal to sell nicotine vaping products to anyone under 18.”