Australia to ban recreational vaping amid what experts call an ‘epidemic’ - what are the UK laws?

Recreational vaping is set to be banned in Australia in order to protect public health

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In a new crackdown on public health, Australia will introduce a ban on the recreational use of vapes. Minimum quality standards will also be introduced, and the sale of vapes will be restricted to pharmacies.

Those using vapes in Australia already require a prescription, however, the industry is poorly regulated. Health Minister Mark Butler said the products are creating a new generation of nicotine addicts in Australia.

He said: "Just like they did with smoking... ‘Big Tobacco’ has taken another addictive product, wrapped it in shiny packaging and added sweet flavours to create a new generation of nicotine addicts," Mr Butler said in a speech announcing reforms on Tuesday. We have been duped."

The decision comes after new research found one in six Australians aged 14-17 years old has vaped, and one in four people aged 18-24. The health minister added that the federal government would work with state and territory governments on potential penalties for possession of e-cigarettes without prescription.

Vapes are considered safer than normal cigarettes because they do not contain harmful tobacco. In the UK, the government has been handing them to some smokers for free in a "swap to stop" initiative to help smokers quit. Though health experts do reiterate that vapes are not risk-free.

Many experts say the concerns come from the chemicals sometimes used in Vapes. As well as this, due to vapes being such a new thing the long-term implications on health are still very much unknown.

So, what are the laws in the UK for vaping? Here’s everything you need to know.

UK Vaping laws

The requirements according to the UK government website:

Stock image of vaping. Concerns have been raised by teachers and councillors about young people and school children using e-cigarettes in CalderdaleStock image of vaping. Concerns have been raised by teachers and councillors about young people and school children using e-cigarettes in Calderdale
Stock image of vaping. Concerns have been raised by teachers and councillors about young people and school children using e-cigarettes in Calderdale
  • restrict e-cigarette tanks to a capacity of no more than 2ml
  • restrict the maximum volume of nicotine-containing e-liquid for sale in one refill container to 10ml
  • restrict e-liquids to a nicotine strength of no more than 20mg/ml
  • require nicotine-containing products or their packaging to be child-resistant and tamper evident
  • ban certain ingredients including colourings, caffeine and taurine
  • include new labelling requirements and warnings
  • require all e-cigarettes and e-liquids be notified and published by the MHRA before they can be sold