John Dunne, Director General of the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA), said:
“It’s important to point out that this is about a consultation and that no decisions have been made on the future of disposable vapes.
“We welcome the idea of a consultation on disposables as it’s key that the industry gets the opportunity to highlight the benefits, and therefore continued need, for single use vapes as a smoking cessation method.
“A ban is not the answer. Some 220 people die from smoking every day, 365 days a year. Disposables have proved to be highly effective in helping smokers quit their habits due to their ease of use, accessibility and low entry price points. They are one of the main reasons as to why the number of adult smokers in Great Britain have hit record lows for the last two years according to the Office for National Statistics.
“We’ve always acknowledged that the issues of youth vaping and environmental impact of vapes need to be tackled. However, it is clear that significantly increased enforcement is required against retailers who sell to minors, which is illegal – new research by Arcus Compliance this week will reveal that fines handed out to retailers for underage and illicit product sales amounted to just over £2,000 in 11 major provincial UK cities between 2021-23.
“The UKVIA has proposed to government on more than one occasion fines of up to £10,000 per instance for rogue retailers caught selling to U18s, as well as retail licensing and national test purchasing schemes.
“The association has also encouraged the government to adopt a set of Packaging, Labelling and Flavour Name guidelines it has created. These are designed to set clear standards for e-liquid, flavour names and flavour descriptors on sale in the UK market. The guidelines focus on limiting references to youth culture, removing imagery and descriptors which are considered to be child appealing.
“Finally, there is also overwhelming evidence that vape bans lead to black markets in the sale of such products and increased smoking rates, putting smokers and vapers at significantly more risk of harm across the world.
“The black market already exists in the UK and represents over 50% of the single use market and this would only accelerate with a ban.”
“As regards the environmental impact of vapes we are leading the way in bringing all stakeholders together in the vape waste chain to address the challenge posed by single use vapes. However, the biggest challenge is getting consumers to recycle their vapes and providing the waste disposal facilities in public places and at points of use that will enable higher recycling rates. Recent analysis by leading electrical waste management company, Waste Experts, highlighted that disposable vapes are highly recyclable.”