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WVA Criticises Disposable Vapes Ban

The World Vapers' Alliance has criticised the UK Government’s proposed ban on disposable vapes and points to UCL scientists warning about unintended consequences

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The World Vapers' Alliance (WVA) strongly opposes the UK government's impending ban on disposable vapes, set to be announced on Monday 29 January. This move, aimed at deterring children from vaping, is criticised by the WVA as a misguided policy that could undermine public health efforts and exacerbate health inequalities.

As Planet of the Vapes will be covering all week, the UK Government is rumoured to be set to announce (as of Sunday 28 January) a complete ban on the importation and sales of disposable vapes, limiting flavours to four types of eliquid, and a tax of at least 25% on either eliquids or all vape products.

Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, expresses his concerns: “The UK's plan to ban disposable vapes is a classic case of good intentions paving the way to poor outcomes. Such a ban not only ignores the real-life complexities of smoking cessation but also risks driving current vapers back to more harmful smoking habits or into the arms of the black market.

The measures follow the UK Government’s public consultation on how to prevent youth use of vape products. Some have suggested that the proposals have more to do with enacting populist legislation prior to a general election, playing on emotions, rather than grounding policy in research evidence.

Landl further emphasises the counterproductive nature of the ban: “By restricting access to disposable vapes, a pivotal tool for many smokers transitioning to safer alternatives, the government is effectively closing off a proven pathway to quitting smoking. This isn’t just a step back in harm reduction; it's jeopardising the health of millions.”

The proposed ban could have far-reaching consequences. Research from UCL and King's College London in the Journal of Public Health (to be covered later this week by Planet of the Vapes) indicates that such a ban could slow the decline in smoking prevalence in the UK, affecting approximately 2.6 million people. Moreover, it could disproportionately impact disadvantaged groups, who have higher smoking rates and typically find it harder to quit.

Multiple studies were conducted during Covid lockdowns showing the benefits disposable vapes offered people experiencing homelessness – a community that demonstrates a far higher rate of smoking than the general population.

The WVA says it is urging the UK government to reconsider its stance, adopt a more evidence-based approach towards disposable vapes, and keep the current harm reduction strategy. The organisation calls for a focus on robust enforcement of existing age restrictions and a deeper understanding of the reasons behind vaping, particularly among teenagers.

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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