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ACS: Ban on disposable vape may lead surge in illegal market

Ban on disposable vape may lead surge in illegal market

Ban on disposable vape may lead surge in illegal market

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) calls for an “enforcement first” strategy to regulate vapes in a government consultation. It means more funding for agencies such as the Office for Consumer Justice and not introducing policies that are difficult to enforce.

ACS has made it clear that they do not support a ban on disposable vapes.

Because this would immediately trigger a surge in the illegal market. Moreover, it will be more difficult to stop those who are already trading illegally.

At the same time, the ACS is calling on the government to significantly increase and publicize investment in education on recyclable devices. So as to avoid disposable vapes being thrown away. And also apparently supports strict regulations on the description and packaging of some tobacco flavors.

“Items target at appealing to children should be banned,” the ACS says. But it is important to remain some flavors for adult consumers to help smokers switch from cigarettes to vapes.

James Lowman, chief executive of ACS says that,

“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.”

Moreover, he further says that an outright ban on disposable vapes may be too radical. And it will encourage dangerous illegal trade. So we must ensure that vape recycling, flavor and proof-of-age policies are addressed.

The ACS also expresses concern over the idea of the government planning to impose ban on year by year increasing “intergenerational” tobacco products sale.

These concerns include:

  • Potential increase in the illegal tobacco trade comes with this.
  • The need for effective government communication on the ban and related age verification policies imposed by retailers.
  • Face the risk of discrimination against shop assistants when being asking to show age proof when buying vaping products.

What’s more, Lowman says that the government has set out its intention to press ahead with a generational tobacco ban. But they must consider all the impacts and risks before doing so.    In addition, the government needs to ensure retailers and front-line colleagues are appropriately equipped in enforcing such a ban.