Worring numbers of children are being targeted by manufacturers
UK government plans to ban disposable vapes have been applauded by a leading Scottish health charity.
The proposals aim to tackle the rising number of young people taking up vaping, the government said.
The ban is expected to be introduced across the UK with the Scottish and Welsh governments both saying they would introduce bans, either with legislation in their own parliaments or by supporting UK-wide measures.
Sheila Duffy, chief executive of Ash Scotland, said the step is vital towards halting the alarming upsurge of children using vapes.
Ash’s figures suggest 7.6% of 11 to 17-year-olds now vape regularly or occasionally, up from 4.1% in 2020.
Campaigners have long argued that disposable vapes are wasteful and that the materials and chemicals used to make them, including their lithium batteries, make them difficult to dispose of safely.
The latest changes would also introduce powers to stop refillable vapes being sold in a flavour marketed at children and to require that they be produced in plainer, less appealing packaging.
The government will also be able to mandate that shops display refillable vapes out of sight of children and away from other products they might buy, like sweets.
A further public consultation will take place to decide which flavours should be banned and how refillable vapes will be sold, the government said.
Duffy said: “With most disposable vaping products containing high levels of nicotine, which is extremely addictive, as well as toxic chemicals that have not been safety tested for inhalation and can damage lung health, the ban is both urgent and necessary to protect the health of children now and future generations.
“As children are attracted to the taste and smell of fruit and sweet flavoured e-cigarettes, as well as the colourful packaging, we also favour proposals to remove all flavours from vaping products and restrictions to standardised plain packaging.”
In a statement, the UK Vaping Industry Association said disposable vapes had "played a key role in helping millions of adults quit and stay off cigarettes" and that it was "dismayed" by the announcement.
"While action to prevent youth access to vaping is critical, this move smacks more of a desperate attempt by the government to sacrifice vapers for votes," it said.