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Local stores oppose outright ban on disposable vapes: ACS

December 5, 2023

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Local stores body Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has highlighted the need for a tighter regulatory framework around the vaping market to prevent youth access and encourage recycling.

Responding to the Department of Health and Social Care’s consultation on vaping restrictions, ACS has made it clear that it supports the government’s core objectives to prevent young people from accessing vaping products and to reduce the environmental impact of disposable devices. ACS has called on the government to take an ‘enforcement first’ approach, meaning prioritising more funding for agencies like Trading Standards and not introducing policies that will be difficult to enforce.

The submission states that ACS does not support a ban on disposable vapes, which would create an immediate boom for the illicit market and do little to stop those already trading illegitimately. ACS has called for the government to drastically increase the availability of and education around recycling infrastructure to avoid so called ‘disposable’ vapes being thrown away.

There is also support in the submission for tighter rules on the kinds of packaging and vape flavour descriptors that are available. Any products that directly appeal to children should be banned, but it’s important that a range of flavours remain available to adult consumers, which is a key reason why smokers make the switch from tobacco to vapes.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said, “The purpose of consulting on the future of vaping should be that we end up with a properly regulated, sustainable and responsible market that continues to help people quit smoking, but that is not accessible to young people.

“An outright ban on disposable vapes would be a step too far and bolster the dangerous illicit trade, so we must work to ensure that vape recycling, flavours, and proof of age policies are being addressed through targeted regulation and enforcement, delivered by Trading Standards at a local level.”