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UKVIA and ACS Respond to Government Plan

The UK Vaping Industry Association and the Association of Convenience Stores have responded to the Government announcement of 8-week consultation on vaping in the UK

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The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) and the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) have responded to the Government announcement of 8-week consultation on vaping in the UK. While the UKVIA welcomes some of Rishi Sunak’s proposals, it warns that enforcement should be the priority – not new legislation. The ACS agrees that the key issue is the enforcement of current regulations.

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”.

The ACS took a similar position following the Department of Health & Social Care’s announcement of the ‘Creating a smokefree generation and tackling youth vaping’ consultation.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The convenience sector has a proud record on preventing underage purchases, and we will need support from the government to implement a totally new policy on tobacco age restriction. The government must consider all of the possible long-term challenges for colleagues and retailers at the front line of implementing a generational ban on the sale of tobacco.

The availability of vaping has clearly helped smokers to quit and drive a reduction in smoking rates. The purpose of this consultation should be to properly regulate the vaping market and make sure it operates responsibly and sustainably. It’s clear that something needs to be done to reduce the impact that these products have on the environment, and these products should never be sold to or used by children. We welcome further discussion with the government on the options set out in the consultation.

“Current and future regulations must be enforced far better. It is unacceptable that responsible retailers are being undermined by others selling products that are already illegal, often to children.  The Chancellor can address this in his Autumn Statement with further funding for Trading Standards to carry out more local enforcement activity against rogue vape sellers.”

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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