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Disposable vape ban: Australia trade group warns Sunak of black market

February 22, 2024

Photo: iStock

Prime minister Rishi Sunak has been warned that disposable vape ban will do more harm than good as “prohibition has never worked” and to “learn from the Australian government’s mistakes”.

Sunak have been warned that black market has exploded in Australia since its government introduced a series of new measures.

“Australia’s ban looks good on paper but you only have to take a walk down any shopping strip, past a bus stop or the local pub and you’ll see a bunch of people sucking on illegal disposable vapes that they’ve clearly bought from the black market,” Theo Foukkare, chief executive of the Australian Association of Convenience Stores, said.

“A disposable ban, or any other ban, will only result in pushing up costs, people will end up buying unregulated and poorly manufactured cheap vapes on the black market.

“The black market in Australia will continue to boom unless the Australian government moves to regulate the sale of strictly manufactured-to-code vapes to people aged 18 and over, just like they do with alcohol and tobacco.

“The black market for vapes in Australia is now worth an estimated Aus$4-$5 billion per annum, plus over $5bn (£2.6bn) per annum in illegal tobacco.

“[Rishi Sunak should] learn from the Australian government’s mistakes. Prohibition has never worked and is pushing Australians right into the arms of the black market,” Daily Express quoted Foukkare as saying.

Recent reports also estimated that more than 90 per cent of vapes in Australia are from the illicit market.