There is a definite epidemic of young people vaping against the advice of health professionals, but is it as serious as it is made out to be? According to the World Health Organisation, vapes and other e-cigarettes contain varying amount of nicotine, which is dangerously addictive. The WHO also state that though we lack enough data to determine the long-term effects, vaping certainly has health complications. Harlow’s youth has been discussing the perils of vaping, including how costly and unsustainable it can be.

The Harlow Youth Council is a group of young people between the ages of 12 and 19 that meet fortnightly. We gather to consider pressing matters, give our opinions, and be a voice for the younger generation of the community. On Monday 2nd October, we met to discuss the issue of vaping, specifically single-use vapes. These are bad for the environment-and people’s pockets!

One member of the Youth Council, May Cashman, 15, said ‘banning vapes would only create an illegal market as people are addicted and dependent on them, and this issue will not just go away if vapes are banned’.

Also, while many vapes are rechargeable and reusable, many are not. Because they are generally not disposed of properly, the environment is being harmed by vapes that are left on the floor once used.

In conclusion, while a lot of people believe that vaping should not be illegalised in order to prevent shadier methods being used to get them, others think that it should, because it could be damaging to young people’s development. The Youth Council will continue to discuss issues such as vaping and other issues in Harlow, and they hope that the amount of vapes being used by young people will be reduced sooner rather than later.