Statement from UK Vaping Industry Association Director General John Dunne on French plans to ban single use vapes.
The UK Vaping Industry Association believes that French plans to ban single use devices would not only fail to curb tobacco use but would most likely lead to an increase in smoking rates.
French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne announced on Sunday that the ban would form part of a new national plan to combat rising smoking rates in the country.
Smoking kills 75,000 people in France every year but if they move forward with this policy then the death rate will increase rather than drop.
There is a huge demand for single use vape devices both in the UK and France and this demand will not simply disappear if they are banned – instead vapers will either turn to the black market to get untested and potentially dangerous alternatives or return to smoking.
Australia only allows vaping on prescription and it has banned single use devices but this has led to a massive black market which has moved in to meet the demand for vapes, and especially single use devices.
Dr Colin Mendelsohn, one of the world’s leading authorities on tobacco harm reduction, says the country’s ‘flawed’ vaping restrictions have ‘created a rampant black market run by criminal gangs’ and said that 92% of the country’s vapers purchased supplies through illegal channels.
We have seen in the UK that single use devices have proved to be highly effective in getting smokers to switch to vaping, a vastly reduced risk alternative to combustible cigarettes.
They are inexpensive, compact and easy to use, which are all important factors to help smokers make the initial transition to vaping.
The French Prime Minister justified the proposed ban on the grounds that they acted as a gateway towards smoking for young people but I respectfully suggest that she is misinformed.
Just last month the charity Action for Smoking and Health (ASH) published a myth buster report which provided evidence that vaping was neither more harmful nor as addictive as smoking and was NOT a proven gateway into smoking.
The latest Office of National Statistics (ONS) data reveals that the UK has the lowest smoking rates (13.3%) since records began and the ONS said vaping has played ‘a major role’ in the decrease of smoking prevalence.
There is a problem with the uptake of youth vaping but the answer is not to ban products which clearly help adult smokers quit. Instead, we need to enforce and tighten the existing laws so that it is not worth while for any retailers to sell these age-gated adult products to children.
This is why the UKVIA wants a national licensing scheme for vape retailers and fines of £10,000, per instance, for anyone convicted of selling to those under 18 or for selling illicit or illegal products.