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Home News ‘Irresponsible’ vape brands could ‘kill the industry’: UKVIA’s Dunne

‘Irresponsible’ vape brands could ‘kill the industry’: UKVIA’s Dunne

January 5, 2023

John Dunne

Vape brands who fail to act responsibly and produce and market child-friendly products are in danger of killing the industry, the UKVIA Director General John Dunne has warned.

Speaking at the Annual Work Conference of the the E-Cigarette Professional Committee of China Electronic Chamber of Commerce (ECCC), he urged the vape sector not to ‘hand ammunition to anti-vaping groups’ by flouting the law and targeting children.

“Brands need to act in a more responsible way, they need to comply with local laws or risk killing our industry,” he told the gathering of more than 1,000 vape company executives in Shenzhen, China, in a recorded address.

Dunne added that targeting young people, illegally using social media influencers – especially on non-age gated platforms, like TikTok – and failing to deal with the environmental impact of disposables were all ‘real key threats’ facing the industry, showing examples of vape products which featured cartoon images or were shaped like ice lollies.

“These products are not acceptable. Not only are they illegal, but companies producing and marketing these types of childish products are just handing ammunition to the anti-vaping groups,” he said.

“The uptake of disposable vapes by young people is particularly concerning with a seven-fold increase in the percentage of 11 to 17-year-olds in the UK opting for disposable products in 2021.

“Youth uptake continues to dominate the news media with disposables being the vape of choice for underage users and this is potentially catastrophic for public perception.

“So, I would ask all of you who are gathered here today to please consider the products that you’re making for the adult audience that they’re being used for.”

Dunne also highlighted that companies who failed to comply with WEEE regulations on waste electrical recycling, marketed illegal big puff count devices or sold non-registered products were also putting the industry at risk.

On a more positive note, he shared the results of the UKVIA-commissioned Economic Impact Report which valued the UK vaping industry’s aggregate turnover last year at £2.8bn.

Dunne also told delegates that conventional routes to market were being challenged, highlighting the increasing availability of vaping products via rapid delivery firms resulting in a substantial increase in evening sales.

He said the UK government regulation continued to favour vaping and told the conference that the industry was still awaiting publication of the government’s new Tobacco Control Plan which he hoped would be favourable to vaping.