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Scotland Confirms Ban Details

The Scottish Government has confirmed further details of its disposable vapes ban, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) is not impressed

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The Scottish Government has published a six-week consultation on the implementation of the disposable vapes ban, expanding on the definition of a disposable vape and outlining the fines that will be issued to businesses who continue to sell and supply disposables after a ban. The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) is not impressed. 

The ban, which is scheduled to come into force in April 2025, is subject to separate regulations in Scotland which closely resemble those in England. Scotland is the first UK nation to provide more detail on their definition of a disposable vape, which is as follows:

  • Not refillable (for the purposes of this regulation, a vape is not refillable, unless it is designed to include a single-use container which is separately available and can be replaced by an individual user in the normal course of use, or a container which can be refilled by an individual user in the normal course of use)
  • Not rechargeable (for the purposes of this regulation, a vape is not rechargeable if it is designed to contain a battery which cannot be recharged, or a coil which is not separately available and cannot be replaced by an individual user in the normal course of use, including any coil which is contained in a single-use cartridge or pod which is not separately available and cannot be replaced by an individual user in the normal course of use)

The Scottish Government has also set out the sanctions for businesses that continue to sell or supply disposables after a ban. Those who commit an offence could be subject to receive a level five fine, which is equivalent to between £5,000 and £10,000.

This is in contrast to the regulations in England, which stipulate a range of notices which could be imposed on a business and an initial £200 fixed penalty notice for an offence, reduced to £100 if paid within 28 days.

In the consultation, there is reference to the £30m enforcement budget, which the Scottish Government states will ‘support enforcement in Scotland’ through additional funding for HMRC and Border Force.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The upcoming ban on disposable vapes will provide a significant boost for rogue traders selling illicit products to meet the demand from the one in four existing disposable users that say they’ll carry on buying them after a ban comes into force. We support the Scottish Government’s stronger approach to enforcement when it comes to the severity of the fines being imposed, but the £30m enforcement budget is being stretched extremely thin to cover not just Trading Standards, but also HMRC and Border Force activity across the UK.

“If the UK Government wants to support responsible retailers and get illicit product off the streets, it needs to provide significantly more funding for local enforcement and put in place serious sanctions for those committing an offence.”

The consultation comes as enforcement activity has begun against retailers that do not provide vape recycling services in their stores. At the start of 2024, vapes were taken out of the WEEE Distributor Takeback Scheme (phase 7), which means that a retailer who sells any quantity of vapes has to provide a recycling service on a 1:1 basis. ACS has detailed advice on how to provide a recycling service here.

The full consultation from the Scottish Government is available here.

ACS is encouraging retailers to contact their MSPs to highlight their concerns about the disposable vape ban and the impact that it will have on their business. A template email is available for retailers to utilise here.

Photo Credit:

  • Photo by Melody Ayres-Griffiths on Unsplash

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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