A Southampton dad says the new government ban on disposable vapes is a “positive step” in bringing down the number of teens who are regularly vaping before the age of 18.

This week, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that his government will ban disposable vapes to tackle a rise in children taking up the habit.

Southampton-based dad-of-four Simon Hassett, 37, is the founder of VapeGuardian, an organisation committed to preventing teen vaping.

His company has created a detection device that is being used in more than 350 schools. It alerts staff when a pupil is using a vape in a school building.

Simon and his wife Jean have been pushing for a ban on disposable vapes since selling their first detector in October 2022.

Simon said: “The latest figures show us that one in five teens have tried vaping and 70 per cent of these children have tried a disposable vape.

Daily Echo: Simon Hassett is the founder of VapeGuardian Simon Hassett is the founder of VapeGuardian (Image: The Can Group)"Of this group, nine per cent are also vaping regularly.

“Although we think this government ban is massively positive, there are other changes that we feel have made this ban far more impactful.

“For example, stopping the vapes being positioned on shop shelves near sweets and marketing them in bright colourful packaging – making them attractive to children.

“We feel these changes, along with the banning of fruity flavours, will be far more impactful than the disposable vape ban itself.

“It should also be noted that vaping is a great alternative for adults looking to give up vaping.”

The VapeGuardian founder said his detection system reduces vaping incidents in schools by 94 per cent within five weeks of installation.

He added: “But finding out children are vaping does not stop them.

“They can only be stopped with proper education and support from parents and teachers.

"Children become so quickly addicted and vaping is terrible for their respiratory development.

“It is so important parents have an open conversation with their children – ask them if they have tried vaping and openly talk through those dangers.