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Banning single use vapes could see people returning to smoking, warns ACS

With the Scottish government joining England and Wales in planning to ban single use vapes, two trade associations are warning the measure could see vapers turn to the illicit market or return to smoking.
Holyrood announced last week that it intends to ban the sale and supply of disposable vapes from 1 April next year as part of draft legislation that is open for consultation until 8 March. It would see Scotland adopt similar measures to England and Wales, where full details of the proposed restriction are yet to be announced.
The Association of Convenience Stores says its own consumer polling suggests that the Scottish ban will result in a “huge uplift in the illicit vaping market” with 24% of existing disposable vape users saying that they will continue to use disposable vapes after a ban, and it urges the administration to undergo “proper consultation” with industry.
“We need a clear plan in place for communicating this policy change to consumers without undermining smoke free targets, as our research also suggests that 8% of disposable vape users will return to tobacco products when the ban is introduced,” says chief executive James Lowman.

Lowman has written to MSP Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Lorna Slater, outlining that the absence of an impact assessment and only a two week consultation period for industry to provide feedback is insufficient to assess the impact of the disposable vapes ban.

”It is essential that the government properly accounts for the impact the disposable vapes ban will have on the illicit market and how trading standards teams will be resourced to address this,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, the UK Vaping Industry Association, which represents vaping suppliers not associated with tobacco manufacturers, says the Scottish move could “result in serious unintended consequences”, including former smokers who have used vaping as a way of quitting the habit returning to cigarettes.

The UKVIA also says that criminal gangs will “move in to fill the huge gap in the regulated market with potentially dangerous black market single use vapes”.