The IBVTA says that it believes an outright ban on an entire category of vape products would be “discriminatory”. It states that those of its members supplying single-use vape products do so to sections of the public including vulnerable adults who would otherwise be smoking. Moreover, these people often receive their disposable vapes as part of projects that are publicly funded, adding that “our concerns about the unintended consequences of an outright ban must also be shared by many people working in frontline local health and wellbeing services.”
“There is also a more general demand by adults for vapes that are as ‘user friendly’ as cigarettes, as evidenced by just how popular they are among adult smokers who would likely never otherwise have tried vaping. While there are obvious issues surrounding single use ‘disposable’ vapes, they can be a very important ‘first step’ away from cigarette smoking,” IBVTA continues.
The trade body says that analysis of over six hundred thousand IBVTA member customers shows the average age of purchasers of single use products is 37 and the average age of vapers purchasing “so called child targeted flavours” is 36. These data are skewed by the strict age verification that IBVTA members carry out.
“However,” IBVTA adds, “it is clear that the products are not disproportionately popular with young adults and are actually very popular among middle-aged adults that would otherwise be smoking.”
“Sales and proxy sales to children have been illegal for some years now, and there is a link between those who supply illicit product which don’t comply with UK regulations and illegal sales to children. Reputable retailers uphold strict age of sale policies and verify the ages of their customers, as well as the compliance status of the products they supply.
“Local Trading Standards enforcement officers have recognised that retailers who do not take care to check that the products they stock are compliant are also less likely to check the ages of their customers. Banning single use vapes would do nothing to discourage these rogue retailers.
“Littering of single use vapes must be discouraged, which is why the IBVTA supports our members in encouraging behaviour change of their customers. Consumers can reduce their environmental impact by moving to rechargeable, refillable products. Our members are working on providing more opportunities for consumers to dispose of their single use vapes responsibly, and to ensure the products recovered are recycled.”
The IBVTA’s CEO, Gillian Golden, said “Prohibition rarely works, and history tells us the black market will just grow to cover the gap. We recognise the concerns of the LGA and its members. However, we believe there are better ways to tackle the issues of youth access and vape waste. We need to consider approaches that will have less dire consequences for the potential of vaping to continue driving down adult smoking rates.“
- The Independent British Vape Trade Association – https://www.ibvta.org.uk/