A BAN on disposable vapes as part of plans to tackle the rising number of children vaping has been welcomed by campaigning Kidderminster headteacher Matthew Carpenter.

The move, announced on Monday by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak follows a sharp rise in children using vapes, despite their sale to under 18s being illegal.

The Baxter College principal said the ban was a “really positive step forward" when speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC's News at Six. 

He told the Shuttle: “The harmful effect of nicotine on the development of young brains is well documented and imported vapes containing toxic chemicals are also getting onto the streets.”

A BBC investigation which featured Baxter College last year, after vape alarms were fitted in the school’s toilets, revealed alarming levels of chemicals in vapes confiscated from students.

Kidderminster Shuttle: Matthew Carpenter Matthew Carpenter (Image: SAET)

In some vapes designed to look like highlighter pens, tests revealed they contained 2.4 times the safe exposure level of lead, 9.6 times the safe level of nickel and 6.6 times the safe level of chromium.

The investigation highlighted a nationwide issue for schools tackling the problem of children and young people vaping.

Alongside the ban on disposable vapes, government measures will also be introduced to prevent vapes being marketed at children and to target under-age sales. 

Prime Minster Rishi Sunak said: "As any parent or teacher knows, one of the most worrying trends at the moment is the rise in vaping among children, and so we must act before it becomes endemic.

The long-term impacts of vaping are unknown and the nicotine within them can be highly addictive, so while vaping can be a useful tool to help smokers quit, marketing vapes to children is not acceptable.   

"As Prime Minister I have an obligation to do what I think is the right thing for our country in the long term. That is why I am taking bold action to ban disposable vapes - which have driven the rise in youth vaping - and bring forward new powers to restrict vape flavours, introduce plain packaging and change how vapes are displayed in shops".