Campaigning councillor Eleanor Collier has applauded the decision of the UK and Scottish Governments for backing her urgent calls to clamp down on vapes.

We previously told that the North Coast member submitted a motion to North Ayrshire Council appealing for an outright ban on disposable vapes.

It was passed by 18 votes to nine at North Ayrshire Council last April. Now governments are taking note of widespread health concerns.

In a statement on Tuesday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Firstly, we will create the first smoke-free generation so children turning 15 this year or younger will never be legally sold tobacco.

“The age of sale will be raised by one year each year to prevent future generations from ever taking up smoking, as there is no safe age to smoke.

"On January 28, we announced plans to go further to tackle youth vaping by banning disposable vapes.

“To reduce the appeal of vapes to children, we also announced that new powers will be introduced to restrict vape flavours and packaging. The powers will also allow the government to change how vapes are displayed in shops.

“To crack down on underage sales, the government will also bring in quicker and simpler £100 fixed penalty fines for shops in England and Wales which sell vapes illegally to children.

“Trading standards officers will be empowered to act ‘on the spot’ to tackle underage tobacco and vape sales.

“Vaping alternatives – such as nicotine pouches – will also be outlawed for children who are increasingly turning to these highly addictive substitutes.

“The UK Government and devolved administrations will now bring forward measures to create the first smokefree generation and tackle the rise in youth vaping.”

Clr Collier said: “As the proposer of a North Ayrshire Council motion to support a ban of disposable vapes in March last year, I was very pleased that the Scottish and UK Governments have just announced they are going to introduce stronger legislation to control the sale of vapes to children and young people.

“I understand the proposals come following widespread consultation and will completely ban the sale of single use vapes, restrict the flavours, packaging, and display of vape products and give local authorities additional powers to prosecute retailers who break the new laws. Reusable vapes and other nicotine alternatives will continue to be available for purchase by adults.

“These measures are necessary as it is clear that vaping products, and single use disposable vapes in particular, have exceeded their original purpose of helping people to stop smoking cigarettes and are now cynically designed, produced and marketed to the children and young people in our communities.

“The World Health Organization believes that vapes are not harmless and we know that apart from bright colours and attractive flavours vapes contain high levels of dangerously addictive nicotine.

“Vapes also cause considerable environmental damage and are extremely difficult to dispose of safely.”