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Trade Bodies React To Sunak Speech

The UK’s two trade bodies, the IBVTA and UKVIA, have posted their reactions to Rishi Sunak’s plans for tobacco and vaping

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The UK’s two trade bodies, the Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA) and the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA), have posted their reactions to Rishi Sunak’s plans for tobacco and vaping. While offering supportive comments regarding the plans to continually restrict access to tobacco, both are cautious about the vape measures Sunak may take.

The IBVTA said it welcomed tobacco phase out but highlighted role of vapes as smoking cessation tool.

The UK vape industry has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement today that smoking will be phased out as part of an incremental generational approach but warns that over-regulating popular adult vape products could deny adult smokers a proven smoking cessation tool,” IBVTA states.

In response to the Prime Minister’s speech, the Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA) today highlights the role that vaping has to play in delivering a smokefree England by 2030. A recent IBVTA member commissioned survey of 6,000 UK adults found overwhelming evidence that vaping products, including single use devices, were critical to helping smokers quit:

  • 46% of regular smokers and 37% of ex-smokers have tried or used a vaping device to help them quit smoking.
  • Of those, 53% of regular smokers use a single use vaping device to help them quit. 61% of ex-smokers (who quit in past 2 years) used a single use vaping device. 
  • 72% of ex-smokers (who quit in past 5 years) and 56% of regular smokers believe single use devices are helpful in assisting individuals to reduce their smoking levels (23% of ex-smokers and 32% of smokers think they are not helpful).
  • 49% used a single use vape due to ease of use, 40% cited affordability

The IBVTA has further warned that disproportionate regulation of vaping products would create a ‘Wild West’ of unregulated and untested products pushed by criminals, widely available to children.

Estimates from law enforcement suggest that already a third of the single use vape market is illicit.

Over-stringent regulation, says the IBVTA, would be a ‘blunt instrument’ while benefitting criminals and jeopardising health gains.

The IBVTA also welcomed proposals to ensure nicotine containing and non-nicotine containing vaping products are held to the same scrutiny, something that until now has not been the case and that the IBVTA has long argued for.  

Marcus Saxton, Chair of the IBVTA said: “We welcome the Government’s intention to phase out tobacco use. However, if this is going to work, then smokers need proven pathways off their addiction. All the evidence shows that single use products are a crucial first step to getting smokers off tobacco particularly in disadvantaged communities with high levels of smoking where, because of their ease of use, they are an effective smoking cessation tool. Undermining these products risks undermining the Government’s ambitions for a smoke-free England and to phase out tobacco use.

“As an industry, we recognise that youth vaping needs to be tackled and we stand-ready to work with Government and towards this and we welcome wider consultation on the industry.

“Rather than the knee-jerk introduction of new regulations, existing legislation should be properly enforced, and responsible manufacturers and retailers properly supported, rather than reaching for the blunt instrument of policy measures that could have damaging consequences.”

Responding on behalf of the UK Vaping Industry Association, Director General John Dunne said: “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 also urge the Government not to implement further legislation when we already have appropriate legislation – we just need to enforce it properly.

“The UKVIA has been advocating for stronger measures to stop rogue retailers selling vapes to under-18s, including on the spot fines of up to £10,000 and a licensing scheme for retailers.

“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 give up 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 any consultation the government proposes 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.”

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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