DOUBLE the price of vapes and sell them in plain packs like cigarettes to deter kids, say campaigners.
Anti-smoking crusaders want an extra £4 tax on disposable e-cigarettes like Elf Bars, which are sold for less than a fiver.
The vapes are popular with children thanks to their bright colours and fruity flavours, said Action on Smoking and Health.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said action is “urgently needed” to crack down on youth use.
It comes as Tesco, Morisons and Sainsbury’s have removed the Elf Bar 600 series from shelves after it was found to contain illegal levels of nicotine.
Ms Arnott said: “Smoking is much more harmful than vaping and smoking remains the biggest threat to our children’s health.
“But vaping is not risk-free, and in the light of the recent increase in children vaping, government action is urgently needed to tighten regulation and increase enforcement.”
She added: “Children who vape mainly use cheap disposables, which can be bought for under a fiver.
“They could easily be made less affordable in the March Budget with the introduction of a specific tax for single use disposable vapes.
“In one simple step this would reduce both child vaping and the vast quantities of single use vapes being thrown into landfill.”
Around 3.2million people in the UK use e-cigarettes.
Around half of adults aged 18 to 24 that vape using disposable devices last year, up from only 2.8 per cent in 2021, according to ASH.
Research suggests e-cigarettes are significantly less dangerous to people’s health than regular cigarettes, reducing the risks of illnesses like cancer and heart disease.
However, data on how long-term use impacts the body is sparse.
ASH’s call comes as councils also put pressure on No10 to crackdown on vape use in teens.
The Local Government Association said e-cigarettes should be kept “out-of-sight and out-of-reach” in stores.
It said vapes should only be sold in plain packaging and kept behind the counter in shops.