On July 19, Kent County local government agencies decided to take formal action on a stipulation calling for a ban on disposable e-cigarettes, according to a kentlive related report.
Multiple councillor rules call for disposable ban
Critics of e-cigarette products say many feature fancy packaging and sweet fruit flavors designed to appeal to young people and children.
A ban has been proposed by Green Party member Jenni Hawkins, who says the lithium used in disposable e-cigarette batteries should be recycled. These e-cigarette products are known to be unstable and prone to exploding and catching fire when squeezed. Over 700 garbage truck fires and fires at recycling centers have been linked to disposable e-cigarettes.
Rep. Hawkins noted:
“Disposing of disposable e-cigarettes is also wasteful; lithium is a key material needed for the green transition, and every year disposable e-cigarettes that are thrown away contain enough lithium for 1,200 electric cars.”
Councillor Clair Bell, cabinet member for public health, pointed out that she recognizes that e-cigarette products are a “relatively new thing,” but she thinks a disposable ban could be counterproductive.
And David Fothergill, chair of the Local Government Association’s Mass Wellbeing Committee, noted:
“Disposable e-cigarettes are fundamentally flawed in their design and are not a sustainable product, so rather than trying to recycle more e-cigarette products, it would be more effective to simply introduce a blanket ban.”
According to the Local Government Association, local authorities have investigated e-cigarette products on the market that have designs and flavors that may appeal to children. The Local Government Association adds:
“There is a need for strict new measures to regulate the display and marketing of conventional e-cigarette products in a similar way to tobacco.”
In addition to Kent, Oxfordshire County Council in the UK has also recently taken a stance in favor of banning disposable e-cigarettes. AnsafAzhar, Oxfordshire’s director of public health, noted that the county council called on the government to introduce a ban on disposable e-cigarettes.
As per a BBC news report, data from market research firm NielsenIQ shows that 300 million e-cigarette products (which include disposable and other types) were sold in the UK over the past year under review.
Industry associations emphasize need for stronger recycling efforts
The e-cigarette products industry believes the government should impose fines on retailers who sell e-cigarette products to underage customers and earmark the revenue.
The UK Electronic Cigarette Products Industry Association (UKVIA) believes there should be a greater emphasis on recycling, even as it argues that e-cigarette products can be beneficial to people looking to quit smoking.
John Dunne, director general of UKVIA, noted:
“Experience has shown that when a blanket ban is imposed on regulated disposable e-cigarettes, there is an influx of illegal, untested and potentially lethal black market products, which is bad for all.”