The letter states:
“On behalf of the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA), the largest e-cigarette trade association in the UK representing the vaping sector, I would like to express our profound dismay and disappointment regarding this morning's announcement that the government has decided to proceed with a ban on disposable vapes. This decision jeopardises the significant progress made in reducing smoking rates in the UK and poses a threat to the well-being of millions of adults who have successfully quit smoking with the help of vaping.
“While we acknowledge the need to prevent youth access to vaping products, this decision appears like an attempt to gain votes at the expense of current vapers. Banning disposable vapes instead of focusing on effective enforcement will not only fail to protect young people but will also exacerbate the situation by fuelling the black market, resulting in illicit, non-compliant, and in many cases dangerous vapes becoming more accessible to children.
“This decision will not only lead to increased smoking rates but also result in the loss of lives and jobs. Recent research from University College London highlights the potential negative impact of such a ban, discouraging the use of vaping as a smoking cessation tool and triggering relapses among former and current smokers. A ban on disposable vapes will also have significant repercussions on the NHS, which currently expends £2.4 billion per year to treat smoking-related conditions. The UKVIA has consistently advocated for balanced measures, including restrictions on child-appealing flavour names and descriptors.
“The government must also be careful when restricting flavours. Flavours play a key role in encouraging smokers to try vaping, and according to a recent survey conducted by One Poll, as many as 1.5 million vapers fear they would return to smoking if flavours were banned and 83 percent of vapers claim that flavours have helped them ‘pack in their smoking habit’.
“We urge the government to reconsider the ban on disposable vapes and adopt a more balanced approach that prioritises effective enforcement over draconian bans. A distributor and retailer licensing scheme, as proposed to government repeatedly by the UKVIA, would achieve such an outcome without any cost to the taxpayer. The UKVIA remains committed to collaborating with the government to find solutions that address public health concerns without undermining the significant strides made in reducing smoking rates.”