GLASGOW City Council is calling on the Scottish Government to ban the sale of single-use vapes over fears that the product is marketed to appeal to underage users.
Members of the local authority’s environmental and liveable neighbourhoods committee voiced fears over the ‘brightly coloured’ and ‘sweetly flavoured’ single-use vapes and their appeal to youngsters who ‘may be damaging their future health through prolonged use’.
Rising concerns about the environmental impact of single-use vapes also sparked the call for a ban, with the local authority noting the increasing environmental impact of vapes in regard to littering.
Furthermore, the council said that although vapes are ‘safer than smoking’, recent seizures by its trading standards team found ‘many’ shops and wholesalers stocking vapes containing more than the legal nicotine limit – with 13,000 illicit vapes seized in three months of spot checks.
Chair of Glasgow City Council’s environmental and liveable neighbourhoods committee, councillor Elaine McSporran, said, “I have grave concerns about single use vapes, both in relation to their environmental impact and the impact on people’s health in years to come.
“We are seeing more and more disposable vapes littering our streets and green spaces, because people are just dropping them when they are empty. They are made of plastic which, as we know, takes decades to degrade and can end up in our rivers and oceans where it is a threat to wildlife and can get into the food chain. They are also powered by lithium batteries which contain corrosive and flammable chemicals.
“The seizure of over 13,000 illicit vapes in just three months by Trading Standards officers in Glasgow hints at the extent of the problem nationwide. Their apparent marketing towards younger people with sweet flavours and brightly coloured packaging is another concern as more and more young people seem to be using them.
“I wholeheartedly support the introduction of a ban on their sale and urge the Scottish Government to act now to avert a dual disaster in the future.”
Dundee City Council has also voiced support for banning the sale of single use vapes, whilst the Scottish Greens said today that a ban on the product would benefit ‘people and (the) planet’.
The Scottish Greens health spokesperson, Gillian Mackay MSP, said, “Disposable vapes are bad for people and planet. There is no excuse for the obscene and totally avoidable levels of waste they produce.
“Glasgow is Scotland’s biggest city, and it is great to see such a major council taking a stand. It sets an important precedent that we hope other councils will follow, and adds weight to the growing calls for a ban.
“It also underlines the vital work that Scottish Green councillors are doing to drive change in their communities.”