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Home » UKVIA Statement In Response to Government Proposed Crackdown on Sales of Vapes to U18s

UKVIA Statement In Response to Government Proposed Crackdown on Sales of Vapes to U18s

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On the government’s expected crackdown on the illegal sale of vapes to U18 year olds, John Dunne, Director General of the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA), said:

“The law is absolutely clear – it is illegal to sell vapes to U18 year olds and therefore it is a criminal offence to do so. Therefore, we welcome the targeted action expected to be announced by the government on youth vaping, which clearly homes in on cutting the source of supply of vapes to minors from rogue resellers. This is the approach we have been calling for government to adopt for some time and which was reflected in detailed proposals that we presented at the end of last month in Parliament.

“We’re especially pleased that the government has taken on board our idea of a test purchasing scheme across the country which will help to keep a much-needed close eye on the sales activities of retailers.

“We also applaud the move to create an illicit vapes enforcement squad to enhance the capability and outcomes of Trading Standards in dealing with the rising level of illicit products that are on the market as well as underage sales.

“There is no doubt that action directed at those illegally selling vape products to children is the way forward. Vitally, it means that any youth vaping prevention measures cannot be to the detriment of adult smokers looking to quit through vaping and vapers who want to avoid a return to smoking. This is precisely the effect a ban on flavoured vapes would have, given the fact that adult smokers and vapers rely on them to quit their habits and avoid relapsing.”

“As the largest trade association for the vaping sector in the UK, we will also contribute to the Government’s Call for Evidence, which is expected, re-emphasising the proposals we have to date put forward.”

Last month the UKVIA launched its hard-hitting youth vaping prevention action plan in Parliament. This called for:

  • Fines of up to £10,000 per instance for retailers, including owners and directors,  caught selling to minors;
  • A new national registration scheme for retailers – with only those that meet strict qualifying criteria able to sell vape products;
  • The introduction of the first ever national test purchasing scheme to constantly monitor retailers for sales to minors on an ongoing basis;
  • Funding from the fines and retailer registration scheme to be used to finance heightened enforcement by Trading Standards.

Last week, research on flavoured vapes amongst 2,000 adult vapers, conducted by One Poll and commissioned by the UKVIA, revealed that:

  • 1 in 3 vapers fear a flavoured vapes ban will lead them back to smoking, which represents 1.5m former smokers
  • Eight in ten vapers (83 per cent) claim that flavoured vapes help them on their quit journey

In addition, we have previously called upon Government for the guidelines that we developed around child-proofing packaging, labelling and flavour names to be adopted in future regulations. These are designed to set clear standards for e-liquid, flavour names and flavour descriptors on sale in the UK market. They focus on limiting references to youth culture, removing imagery and descriptors which may be misleading, explicitly banning cartoons and youth-appealing iconography, and proportionately restricting flavour names/descriptors that may disproportionately appeal to underage users.


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