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The Tobacco and Vapes Bill

The Government introduced the Tobacco and Vapes Bill to Parliament on Wednesday 20 March; the IBVTA offered up its opinion

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The Government introduced the Tobacco and Vapes Bill to Parliament on Wednesday 20 March. Powers being granted include those to issue £100 on-the-spot fines in addition to the maximum £2,500 fine which local authorities can impose on retailers. Some outlets reported the £100 fine was for children vaping, but this is not the case. The Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA) has offered its opinion on the new legislation.

The Bill was announced by the government is its response to a consultation last Autumn and comes after separate legislation that will ban single use/disposable vapes from April next year. A further announcement that liquid used in refillable vapes and prefilled pods will be subject to a duty of up to £3 per 10ml came in the Spring Budget.

As well as banning the sale of tobacco products to anyone born after on or after 1st January 2009, the Tobacco and Vapes Bill seeks new powers to:

  • Restrict vape flavours to mint, menthol, tobacco and “fruit”
  • Restrict packaging designs and labels
  • Restrict how vapes can be displayed in shops
  • Banning free samples for under 18s

Under the Bill, enforcement officers’ powers will also be strengthened with ‘on the spot fines’ of £100 for retailers who engage in underage sales of tobacco and vaping products. These fines will be in addition to the up-to-£2,500 fine local authorities can impose.

Commenting on the publication of the Bill, IBVTA Chairman Marcus Saxton said: “There are things to be welcomed in this Bill, such as strengthened powers of enforcement against retailers who engage in illegal sales. There is also a danger that with so many legislative avenues being sought to reduce youth uptake of vaping, ‘regulatory overkill’ may hamper the future of vaping as the UK’s leading quit aid for adults.

“The IBVTA looks forward to working positively and progressively with the Government to ensure that vaping becomes less accessible and desirable to children, and to adults that would not otherwise be smoking. However, this can only be considered successful in the context of continuing the decline in adult smoking rates that has accompanied the growth of the UK’s vape sector.

“Excessive restrictions on the types of products that our members can provide may reduce the products’ appeal, but even worse, may contribute to continued misperceptions about the harm of vaping relative to tobacco smoking. Specifically, the role of flavours in supporting adult smokers to a successful quit attempt is extensive and widespread, and therefore any reference to potential powers to permit future legislation around their use is extremely worrying and threatening to the government’s own goals of becoming smoke free by 2030. It is vital that more smokers understand that switching to vaping is of much lower harm and can help them to quit smoking for good.”

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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