SUPERDRUG is banning the sale of disposable vapes, it was announced today.
The high street health and beauty retailer will no longer stock any single-use brands, including Vuse GO and Flavaah Bars.
It is not clear when the new rules will come into force, but they will apply to all stores in the UK and Ireland.
Superdrug blamed the fact that nearly five million single-use e-cigarettes are now disposed of every week in Britain – up from 1.3m last year.
The batteries are a fire risk and harmful to wildlife and the environment.
Lucy Morton-Channon, head of environmental, social, and governance, said: "The rate that consumers are using single-use vapes and discarding them is worrying and alarming for the environment.
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"Many of these single-use vapes contain lithium batteries, which should be disposed of responsibly but many end up in landfill, and incorrect battery disposal can lead to a risk of fires.
"The lasting effects that single use vapes are having on the environment needs to be addressed, and I am pleased that we’ve decided to remove them from all stores."
Healthcare director Ghada Beal added: "It’s our responsibility at Superdrug to provide the best choice for consumers who want alternatives to cigarettes whether that’s smoking cessation products or vaping options.
"We need to be responsible about the growing trend in disposable vapes among young people, and the lasting effect on the environment."
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The government is reportedly planning a blanket throw-away vapes ban in England to stop children getting addicted.
The devices, sold in bright colours and sickly-sweet flavours, are seen as encouraging kids to smoke, despite an age limit of 18.
Health bosses say 11.6 per cent of 11 to 17-year-olds have vaped — up from 7.7 per cent last year.
But ministers aren't likely to copy Australia in banning vaping completely as it's thought to help smokers quit.
Prof Sir Chris Whitty, England’s Chief Medical Officer, previously said: “If you smoke, vaping is much safer; if you don’t smoke, don’t vape, and marketing to children is utterly unacceptable.”
E-cigs are seen as less harmful than fags as they do not contain cancer-causing chemicals.
However, they do still contain nicotine, which is highly addictive, and the long-term effect of their use is not yet known.
Studies have shown that vapes may cause "significant" damage to the lungs in the same way cigarettes do.
But the NHS recommends using them to quit tobacco.
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E-cigarettes are available to buy in supermarkets, newsagents, many shops on the high street and online.
The disposable variety usually contain around 2ml of liquid, which can provide around 600 puffs.
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