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LGA Wants A Four Nations Disposables Ban

The Local Government Association has repeated its demand for a complete disposable vapes ban and is demanding a “four nations approach” to eliminate single-use products across the whole of the United Kingdom

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The Local Government Association (LGA) has repeated its demand for a complete disposable vapes ban and is demanding a “four nations approach” to eliminate single-use products across the whole of the United Kingdom. The Association says all four nations must adopt a ban if just one of them does as part of the United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020 (UKIMA).

This ‘four nations’ approach marks something of a departure for the management of the UK internal market under the UKIMA market access principles, according to the LGA.

The LGA says: “On matters of policy, the devolved governments (and the UK government legislating for England) have generally preferred to go their own way, rather than regulate through more cooperative ‘four nations’ multilateral initiatives.

“This collaborative approach might indicate a willingness to coordinate policies multilaterally, potentially avoiding conflicts with the UKIMA market access principles.

“The consequences of divergent policies on single-use vapes could include disparities in regulations and enforcement across different UK nations. The 'four nations' multilateral approach is seen as an experiment that may lead to a less confrontational method of governing the UK internal market. However, the effectiveness of this approach remains uncertain, and lasting impacts may require significant reforms to UKIMA or a change in policy at the Westminster level.”

According to the latest rumours (Sunday 28 January), Wales and Scotland are set to join England in banning disposable vapes. Planet of the Vapes has heard nothing about Northern Ireland.

For some reason, the LGA is concerned about the number of single-use ecigs registered with the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The number of disposable vapes registered has grown exponentially over the past four years,” it says.

Disposable vape products registered with the MHRA:

  • 2019 – 2020: 458
  • 2020 – 2021: 297
  • 2021 – 2022: 3,881
  • 2022 – 2023: 7,605
  • 1April 2023 - 24 August 2023: 3,250

The LGA justifies its support for a complete ban because it is also favoured by the following:

Individual councils calling for a complete ban on disposable vapes:

  • Bolton Council
  • Breckland District Council
  • Buckinghamshire Council
  • London Borough of Ealing
  • Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) Waste and Recycling Committee
  • Hampshire County Council
  • Kent County Council
  • Mid-Suffolk District Council
  • Newham Council
  • Norfolk County Council
  • North Yorkshire County Council
  • Oxfordshire County Council
  • Plymouth City Council
  • Public Health Directors from Cheshire and Merseyside
  • Richmond upon Thames Council
  • Rotherham Council
  • Sheffield City Council
  • Shropshire Council
  • St Albans City & District Council
  • Suffolk County Council
  • Test Valley Borough Council
  • Worcestershire County Council

The LGA says that all but three Scottish councils have called for a ban as well as four in Northern Ireland.

Ignoring all the evidence from countries such as Australia and Thailand, the LGA states: “There appears to be no clear evidence to support claims that a black market would develop, and that a ban would flood the market with illicit and unregulated vapes.”

As Planet of the Vapes showed in April 2023, despite banning vape products multiple times and having heavy fines and prison sentences in place, disposable and pod vapes proliferate across Thailand. The notion that a ban won’t result in a thriving black market is blinkered stupidity that ignores the experience of every implemented ban ever.

The disposable single-use vape products registered with the MHRA can guarantee a minimum level of safety standards. Abdicating safety responsibility to the criminal underworld is an exercise in crass foolhardiness.

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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