A Scottish Green MSP has called for lab tests on disposable vapes to be made compulsory.

Gillian Mackay is spearheading a campaign to ban single-use vapes, with both the UK and Scottish governments considering their future.

The devices often end up in the hands of children, with Government data suggesting as many as 22% of those aged under 18 in Scotland have tried them.

Laboratory tests on the devices, she said, should be made compulsory, ending a system which allows producers to "check their own homework".

As well as cutting down the harms caused by legal vapes, the idea, the MSP claimed, would also impact on the number of fake devices which are sold.

The Herald:

"The risk to users from unscrupulous suppliers is too great to leave to chance, so we urgently need to get a grip of this ridiculous situation where it is the producers themselves who check their own homework," she said.


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"What I am calling for is a UK-wide scheme where independent, verified labs carry out tests to crack down on harmful chemicals and dodgy construction, which could leave anyone in danger on a number of levels.

"There is nothing like enough real checks being carried out and while a potential ban is being considered, preventative action must be taken now, including a licensing scheme for importers to deal with the issue."

An investigation found that vapes confiscated from school pupils contained high levels of lead, nickel and chromium.

Used vapes gathered at Baxter College in Kidderminster were tested in a laboratory.

The results showed children using them could be inhaling more than twice the daily safe amount of lead, and nine times the safe amount of nickel.

Some vapes also contained harmful chemicals like those in cigarette smoke.

High levels of lead exposure in children can affect the central nervous system and brain development, according to the World Health Organization.

An Australian epidemiologist warned a Holyrood committee last year that children who use e-cigarettes can struggle to get through a lesson or a family meal without vaping.

Professor Emily Banks said nicotine dependency was a "serious harm" for young people and "set the scene" for addiction in adulthood.

"We are seeing nicotine addiction in children," said Prof Banks, who is head of the Centre of Epidemiology for Policy and Practice at Australian National University.

The country has banned non-prescription vaping, although she acknowledged that enforcing this was difficult.