Wednesday May 31st 2023
West Lothian has backed calls for a national ban on disposable vapes. Five councils in Scotland, including neighbouring Falkirk, have already called on the Scottish government to implement a ban.
West Lothian’s plea outlined unknown health risks to vape users and the huge amount of dangerous waste the vapes are generating.
Councillors agreed to a composite motion put forward by Independent Stuart Borrowman, Lib Dem Sally Pattle and the SNP group leader Janet Campbell.
The motion said: “at least 1.3 million so called ‘disposable’ vapes are littered and binned each week.”
It added: “Council recognises the findings of ASH Scotland that these products are harmful to health, in particular of children and young people. Disposable vapes contain highly addictive nicotine, and a single disposable vape can last for “600 puffs”, the equivalent of smoking a pack of 20 cigarettes, while many vapes contain chemicals that have not been safely tested for inhalation so that long term health impacts are unknown. Recent estimates put the number of young people, under the age of 18, taking up smoking vapes as up to 40%.”
Councillor Campbell told the meeting: “Perhaps of more concern, among 11 to 15 year olds 9% say they are vapers and that’s up from 6% in 2018. Children are being targeted by these companies with bright packaging exotic flavours and enticing names. The long term effects of vaping remain unknown.”
Research has shown that drug and cigarette use has actually fallen among the young while the use of e-cigarettes and disposable vapes has surged.
Councillor Campbell said: “In addition to being an issue for public health they are also an issue for our environment. Disposable vapes contain valuable materials such as lithium batteries and copper in addition to plastic and are therefore classed as waste electrical and electronic equipment.
“Consumers in Scotland have complained that disposable vapes are just so readily available at the counter at nearly every corner shop right next to the chewing gum.
“The improper disposal of vape batteries may contribute to water contamination.”
Councillor Sally Pattle said: “Thank you to Councillor Campbell and the SNP group for working with us and thanks to Councillor Borrowman for his work and support prior to the meeting.
“It does say a lot that several elected members chose to bring this to full council at this moment. Vaping has exploded in use in the last few years and while council welcomes the recently review into the impact of disposable vapes by the Scottish Government it is now time to move quickly and ban these items as soon as possible.”
Councillor Pattle said the potential impacts to health were “ alarming” as was the impact of “these little pieces of plastic containing harmful substances including lead nickel and chromium having on our lived environment as they are casually discarded by people.”
She added that after all the work that had been done to stop the use of single use plastics it was a “no brainer” to include the use of single use vapes in this messaging.
The composite motion said Dundee, Renfrewshire, Glasgow and North Ayrshire have also called for a ban, adding: “Others are currently debating similar motions, there is real cross-party momentum behind this campaign.”
Councillors agreed to ask the Chief Executive to write to the Scottish Government supporting a ban and also to add their support to the campaigns against disposable vapes by NHS Scotland,Keep Scotland Beautiful and Zero Waste Scotland.Tweet Share on Facebook