Tory MPs oppose plans to ban single-use vapes, angering vape campaigners

Vape campaigners have expressed their fury as Tory MPs try to thwart plans to ban single-use vapes in the UK. The plans, which are part of the Health and Care Bill, aim to reduce the harm and waste caused by disposable e-cigarettes, which are popular among young people. However, some Tory MPs, led by former PM Liz Truss, have tabled amendments to block the ban, claiming that it would harm the vaping industry and the public health.

The proposed ban on single-use vapes is supported by the government, the Labour Party, and various health and environmental groups, such as ASH, Cancer Research UK, and Greenpeace. The ban is based on the evidence that single-use vapes are harmful to the environment and the health, as they:

  • Contain plastic, metal, and lithium batteries, which are not recyclable and end up in landfills or oceans, polluting the soil and water, and harming the wildlife.
  • Contain nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerin, and artificial flavors, which are not biodegradable and leach into the environment, posing a risk to the plants and animals.

  • Contain high levels of nicotine, which are addictive and can cause adverse effects on the brain, heart, and lungs, especially among young people, who are more vulnerable to nicotine exposure and addiction.
  • Contain unknown and potentially harmful chemicals, which are not regulated or tested, and can cause irritation, inflammation, and allergic reactions in the respiratory system, as well as cancer and other diseases.

The ban is expected to reduce the environmental and health impacts of single-use vapes, and to encourage smokers and vapers to switch to reusable and refillable devices, which are safer and more sustainable.

A opposed amendment to protect the industry and the choice

The opposed amendment to the ban on single-use vapes is backed by some Tory MPs, led by former PM Liz Truss, who is also the leader of the Free Enterprise Group, a right-wing faction within the Conservative Party. The amendment is based on the argument that the ban would harm the vaping industry and the public health, as it would:

  • Reduce the competitiveness and innovation of the vaping industry, which is worth £2 billion and employs 15,000 people in the UK, and which has been praised by the government as a world leader in harm reduction and regulation.
  • Reduce the choice and convenience of smokers and vapers, who prefer single-use vapes for their affordability, availability, and variety, and who may revert to smoking or black market products if the ban is imposed.
  • Reduce the effectiveness and attractiveness of vaping as a smoking cessation tool, which has helped more than 3 million smokers quit or reduce smoking in the UK, and which has been endorsed by the government and the public health bodies as 95% less harmful than smoking.

The amendment is expected to preserve the benefits and opportunities of single-use vapes, and to respect the freedom and preference of smokers and vapers.

A heated debate and a uncertain outcome

The debate over the ban on single-use vapes has been heated and polarized, with both sides accusing each other of being misguided and irresponsible. Vape campaigners have slammed the Tory MPs who oppose the ban, calling them “ignorant”, “selfish”, and “corrupt”. They have accused them of being influenced by the tobacco and vaping lobby, and of putting the profits of the industry above the welfare of the people and the planet. They have also urged the government and the Labour Party to stand firm and pass the ban, which they say is “long overdue” and “common sense”.

The Tory MPs who oppose the ban have defended their position, calling it “pragmatic”, “sensible”, and “liberal”. They have accused the vape campaigners of being “fanatical”, “paternalistic”, and “nanny state”. They have argued that they are acting in the best interest of the consumers and the taxpayers, and of promoting the free market and the individual choice. They have also challenged the government and the Labour Party to reconsider and reject the ban, which they say is “unnecessary” and “counterproductive”.

The outcome of the debate is uncertain, as the ban on single-use vapes is one of the many contentious issues in the Health and Care Bill, which is currently going through the House of Commons. The bill, which aims to reform the NHS and social care system, has faced opposition and criticism from various groups and parties, and has been subject to several amendments and delays. The bill is expected to be voted on in the next few weeks, and the fate of the ban on single-use vapes will depend on the majority and the consensus of the MPs.

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