A North Ayrshire councillor has called for an outright ban on disposable vapes that she claims are being cynically sold to young people.

Councillor Eleanor Collier (SNP, North Coast) lodged a motion at North Ayrshire Council to ask the local authority to back proposals to ban their sale in Scotland.

Despite sales of over £1.5 billion this year, from around 4.5 million vape users in the UK, the SNP councillor says she believes they have gone well beyond what they were originally designed for.

She explained: “Vape devices were introduced as a cigarette substitute, and their sale to adults by legitimate retailers is not the issue here.

“However it’s clear that vapes have gone beyond this original purpose, and are being cynically sold to children and young people in our communities.

“You can buy them in all kinds of shops in over 600 flavours. There are starter packs at discounted prices, and influencers on sites like TikTok show off their collections and how to use them.”

“Vapes are available everywhere, and you can even order one with your Friday night curry from JustEat or Deliveroo.”

Speaking at a full council meeting, Cllr Collier said that although anyone over 18 should still be able to buy refillable vapes, the sale of disposable devices must stop.

She said: “It is no surprise that there has been a huge increase in vaping by younger people over the last five years.

“Behind the colours and flavours there is nicotine, which is a highly addictive product, with young people who use vapes three times more likely to start smoking compared to those who don’t.

“It is right that refillable vape systems and e-cigarettes continue to be available for purchase from registered outlets by anyone over 18.

“However, as our children and young people are being mercilessly targeted by the vaping industry, I ask the chamber to support this motion.”

Arran councillor Timothy Billings (Conservative) lodged an amendment to the motion, saying disposable vapes should only be banned for sale to those under 18.

Cllr Billings' Conservative colleague, North Coast councillor Todd Ferguson, announced his support for the amendment, revealing he turned to vaping to successfully quit smoking.

He explained: “I personally started smoking at the age of 15, and continued to smoke all of my adult life, consuming a packet a day.

“Over the years I tried numerous methods to try to stop, and eventually turned to vaping to try and end the habit for good.

“There is a real concern that if we take away the ability to buy vapes legally, illegal devices will then flood the market.

“I think we need to be careful about putting in a complete ban straight away, and that’s why I’m in support of the amendment.”

Councillor Collier’s motion was passed by 18 votes to nine.