Not a day goes past without seeing an article on Twitter or on the news with people calling to ban single use vapes as an environmental issue and also an issue with children vaping.
The point of this blog is to tackle some of the arguments.
Lithium is a precious metal
You can find lithium in everyday goods, whatever device you are reading this on contains lithium. Your laptop, mobile phone, wrist watch or your electric vehicle contains lithium.
In fact it takes 10kgs of lithium to make on electric vehicle battery. A disposable vape contains 0.15 grams of lithium; by my calculations one car battery is equivalent to approximately 66,000 vape batteries.
Check how many billions of aluminium cans are consumed here;
Exotic flavours are attractive to children
Flavours are a choice adults should be able to make. Tobacco is also a flavour (It does not contain any tobacco) and by using this logic, do we need to make all alcohol one flavour to prevent underage alcohol consumption?
Studies publishes by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) shows that 35.3% of vapers prefer fruit flavours, 22.5% mint/menthol and 20.9% prefer tobacco flavours.
If tobacco flavour was the only choice, more people would fail quitting smoking via vaping. Also would this also apply to the millions of different e-juices?
There is an epidemic of children vaping
Children under 16 are least likely to try e-cigarettes. 10.4% of 11-15 year olds have tried vaping, compared to 29.1% of 16-17 year olds. Among 18 year olds 40.8% report having tried an e-cigarette.
Use among 11-17 year olds who have never smoked remains low and largely experimental, while 7.5% of never smokers have tried an e-cigarette in 2022 only 1.7% report at least monthly use.
Children are inquisitive by nature; many will experiment with e-cigarettes, some with tobacco, some with alcohol and some with drugs. It has always been that way and will continue to be so.
It doesn’t mean they’ll end up a drug addict, smoker, alcoholic or vaper.
They are not recyclable
Recycling centres already exist, more emphasis needs to be put into this and I also suggest vaping bins like they adapted bins to be used as an ashtray or dog poo bins. The money would be minimal long-term if you calculate the cost of tobacco smoking on the NHS.
Many ex-smokers who use a vaping device find disposables useful when travelling, going out to socialise and some like me simply prefer them because they replicate smoking without the risk of smoking related diseases. It’s all about personal choice.
1.6 billion Disposable masks entered the ocean in 2020 alone. That’s 1600,000,000 in one year.
Around 78,000 people die of smoking related diseases in the UK each year. The cost of smoking to the UK Government is approximately £12.6 billion a year, made up of £1.4 billion spent on social care for smoking related care needs, £2.5 billion spent on NHS services and £8.6 billion of lost productivity in businesses*. But what is smoking costing you personally?
The battery pack of a Tesla Model S is a feat of intricate engineering. Thousands of cylindrical cells with components sourced from around the world transform lithium and electrons into enough energy to propel the car hundreds of kilometres, again and again, without tailpipe emissions. But when the battery comes to the end of its life, its green benefits fade. If it ends up in a landfill, its cells can release problematic toxins, including heavy metals. And recycling the battery can be a hazardous business, warns materials scientist Dana Thompson of the University of Leicester. Cut too deep into a Tesla cell, or in the wrong place, and it can short-circuit, combust, and release toxic fumes.
Disposable vapes / e-cigarettes are a great way to try vaping for tobacco smokers. It can be confusing and costly for anyone to go out and buy a vaping machine with tanks and different coils and a million e-juices to choose from. Let alone getting to grips with the different setting and different concentrations of e-juice especially for the older generation.
Instead of knee-jerk reactions I would encourage people to seek solutions.
An all-out ban would just create a black market.
The UK government has set a target of England being smoke-free by 2030, how is taking away the most successful tool to quit smoking going to help?
My solutions would be;
- Clamping down on websites and shops selling illegal vapes
- Harsher penalties for selling them to minors
- More emphasis on recycling
- Designated recycling bins