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UKVIA Predicts Car Crash

The UK Vaping Industry Association is predicting an impending car crash as the government admits the absence of a risk assessment of environmental impact of black market vapes

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The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) is predicting an impending car crash as the government admits the absence of a risk assessment of environmental impact of black market vapes. UKVIA says the government must urgently get a grip on its vape policy after it emerged that it has failed to carry out yet another vital risk assessment into the very real potential dangers posed by new regulations.

UKVIA says: “It is now abundantly clear that the government is walking blindly into an environmental catastrophe that will be a lot worse post disposables ban because of its lack of due diligence on this matter.

“The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is leading on implementing the ban on disposable vapes which will come into force in April next year and cites environmental concerns for doing so.

“There is a vast amount of research which shows that prohibition does not work and one inevitable consequence of a disposables ban is that a black market will move in with untested, unregulated and potentially dangerous products to take their place.

“Our concerns are that if the government has failed to regulate the legal market, they will surely find it even more difficult to bring the criminal organisations behind the importation and sale of illegal products to task.”

Adam Afriyie, the Conservative MP for Windsor, asked the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: ‘What assessment he has made of the potential impact on the environment of non-compliant vapes?”

Robbie Moore, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, responded that while an impact assessment into the main environmental concerns of regulated products had been carried out, he added that: “Defra has not made any environmental assessment of current non-compliant vapes.”

The trade body continued: “This is yet another astonishing oversight on the part of the government because banning regulated disposable devices will have absolutely no impact on the environment if they are simply replaced by black market products which contain the same, or even greater, environmental risks and are just as likely to be discarded incorrectly.

“Even worse, regulated vape manufacturers and distributors pay for the cost of disposing of used products under the WEEE regulations and the criminal gangs are obviously not going to do so which begs the question: ‘Who is going to pay’?”

Earlier this month Government Minister Angela Leadsom confirmed that a risk assessment into the number of vapers returning to smoking due to a disposables ban had not been carried out.

UKVIA concluded: “When the Tobacco and Vapes Bill was introduced into parliament it was revealed that the Department of Health and Social Care ‘have not quantified the health impacts of fewer people using vapes to quit smoking’ as a result of potential changes to flavour offerings, point of sale displays or packaging and product presentation.

“This all smacks of a government bringing in populist measures in an election year while burying its head in the sand over the potentially catastrophic real-world consequences of its actions.”

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  • Photo by Clark Van Der Beken 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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