John Dunne, UKVIA Director General, said:
“We welcome this consultation and would agree with the Government’s view that vaping has a major public health role to play, but we also need to tackle the issue of children vaping. We have been calling on government for many years to do more to keep vapes out of the hands of children and some of our ideas are raised in this consultation, such as higher on-the-spot fines for retailers who sell vapes to children, although we’d like to see these raised further, to £10,000 from £2,500.
“While we agree with the Government that we need to protect our children from vaping, we need to also avoid discouraging smokers from quitting. We would urge the Government not to implement further legislation when we already have appropriate legislation – we just need to enforce it properly. More restrictive legislation, such as banning vape products would be likely to lead to a dangerous growth in an unregulated black market, as seen in other countries like Australia.
“Currently 250 people die from smoking every day in the UK. Vaping is proven to be the most effective way to quit and is in fact, twice as effective as all other methods combined. Any decision to restrict adult access to vapes, particularly disposable vapes, on which over half of smokers looking to quit rely, would be counterproductive. Similarly, research has shown that banning flavoured vapes will encourage a significant proportion of ex-smokers back to cigarettes, with potentially fatal consequences.
“We look forward to participating in this consultation and we will continue to promote vaping as our best chance of ridding the UK of cigarettes, which continue to kill more than half of long-term smokers”.