During the full council meeting on the evening of 18 October, the District Council unanimously passed a Liberal Democrat motion on the sale of single-use vapes.
The motion will see the Leader of the Council write to the Secretary of State asking for single use vapes to be banned. The leader will also write to Hertfordshire County Council to request it implements mandatory age-of-sale signage on vaping products and amends the sanctions for breaching these rules as per under tobacco display regulations.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Sinéad Howland who drafted the motion with Liberal Democrat Councillor Raihaanah Ahmed, said: "Over a month ago there was talk from the government that it would introduce a ban on single-use vapes. This has not yet happened. Single-use vapes are harmful to the environment and too many young people are taking up vaping.
"I am pleased that the vote was unanimous on this important issue. We need to keep applying pressure to make sure the government makes the right decision and enforces a ban on single-use vapes.”
As part of the motion, Councillor Howland explained that 1.3 million disposable vapes are thrown away every week, becoming a fire hazard for waste and litter collection services.
Councillor Howland went on to explain that even when sent for recycling, the design of single-use vapes as one-unit batteries, which cannot be separated from their plastic, makes them near impossible to recycle as they must undergo a special treatment.
Councillor Howland also raised data from Action on Smoking Health (ASH) that shows that 8.6% of 11- to 18-year-olds in England vaped in 2022, compared with 4% in 2021, and that among those who tried vaping, 40.1% had never smoked before.