Whether watermelon, lemon or blueberry – the sweet-tasting disposable e-cigarette is particularly popular among young people in Germany. But their ingredients endanger health. Great Britain now wants to massively restrict its use.
The sweet steam costs just five to ten euros in Germany. Depending on the model, smokers can puff on a disposable e-cigarette around 600 times. Young people can also afford this. The result: After decades of falling smoking rates, more young people are now smoking again.
The federal government wants to take action against this, but little has happened so far. Since January 1st, the possibility of outdoor advertising for e-cigarettes has been restricted. In addition, e-cigarettes may only be sold to those aged 18 and over – regardless of whether they contain nicotine or not. This stops very few people: around 35 percent of young adults between the ages of 14 and 24 said in 2022 that they used disposable e-cigarettes. This was the result of the German survey on smoking behavior (Debra).
UK restricts flavors for vapes
The United Kingdom is struggling with similarly high numbers. There, around one in ten young people between the ages of 11 and 15 uses e-cigarettes. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak therefore wants to pull the ripcord, he said on Monday: “We have to act before it becomes endemic.”
From 2025 at the latest, Sunak wants to implement several measures to protect children’s health:
- Disposable e-cigarettes should be completely banned
- The choice of flavors should be limited
- The design of the packaging should be made simpler
- So-called disposable vapes can only be offered out of sight of minors and away from products such as sweets that are aimed at children.
The step is well received by health and environmental activists. Around 80,000 people die in the UK every year as a result of smoking, with around 67 million people dying. Germany, with its 84 million inhabitants, records around 127,000 tobacco deaths every year.
In addition, the disposable products produce a lot of waste and, although they contain a battery, are installed without a charging option. Two disposable vapes are thrown away every second in the UK, says YouTuber Alicia Joe.
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E-cigarettes are popular in Germany
Compared to the British government’s measures, Germany is lagging far behind. In March 2023, the Bundesrat called on the Bundestag to advocate for an EU-wide ban on e-cigarettes. France moved forward in December and passed a ban on disposable electronic cigarettes. It remained unclear whether the Federal Ministry of Health was considering similar measures star-Request unclear at time of publication.
E-cigarettes do not burn dried tobacco, but rather evaporate a liquid containing nicotine, usually combined with sweet flavors. Studies in the past have suggested that these are less dangerous than commercially available cigarettes, but experts disagree about this. There are also no long-term studies yet.
The World Health Organization (WHO) calls e-cigarettes just as dangerous to health as other tobacco products. Rüdiger Krech, WHO director for health promotion, told the DPA news agency last summer: “We can’t really understand why politicians in Germany are so lax in implementing tobacco control measures.” The smoking ban in restaurants is a patchwork, said Krech, and the advertising ban is poorly implemented.
Sources: “”, , , Information from news agencies.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.