Help Save Vaping! The Government Consultation to Tackle Underage Vaping, Disposable Vapes, E-Liquid Flavours, Vape Marketing and Cost.

With the recent uprise from the Government announcing a plan to ban the sale of disposable vapes, they are now considering policies that will affect vape flavours, no nicotine shortfills, packaging of products and point of sales, and raising the cost of vape products significantly to discourage minors from vaping.

These policies could come quickly into effect by 2024 at the earliest, drastically changing the vape industry and the vape community in the UK.

But before they introduce these policies, the Department of Health & Social Care has released a survey for public opinion.

Vapers have until Wednesday 6th December 2023 to voice their opposition. 

Before these tight limitations are put into place, please fill out the survey if vaping has helped you live a smoke-free and healthier life.

Your opinion is very important to this matter since there is a genuine possibility that vapers will only be able to pick between tobacco and/or menthol flavours, disposables will be banned from sale, and vaping products will be subject to high taxes in the coming year.

What is The Government Consultation Considering?

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Restricting Flavours

The questionnaire’s first concern addresses regulating or banning e-cigarette flavours because of their “youth appeal”. The Government is threatening to ban all flavours that aren’t tobacco and menthol, even though it is well-known that flavours, other than tobacco, play a significant role in a smoker’s ability to successfully quit. Vapers know that minors can easily purchase disposables from unregulated shops – not flavours – which is the cause of the youth vaping epidemic.

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Regulating Sale Displays

The Government is considering treating the in-person sales of vapes the same way as tobacco sales – that is, keeping them completely out of sight. Specialised brick-and-mortar vape shops that can turn away minors at the door would be forced to lock away vapes to discourage the appeal of the products, which could ultimately ruin their business.

Although it is illegal to sell alcohol to anybody younger than 18, it is widely available in all supermarkets and corner stores on display in their aisles. What stops minors from buying alcohol is the Challenge 25 rule, policing, and cashiers. 

Why should vapes be handled any differently when they help adult smokers to quit with the number 1 quit smoking aid?

The misconception that vaping is just as harmful as smoking will only grow if they are kept hidden on the shelf next to cigarettes and rolling tobacco.

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Plain Packaging

The Government wants the same packaging we see on today’s cigarette products, on vape products so they don’t attract young children towards them. Whilst we agree that cartoons and familiar sweet treat branding don’t necessarily need to be on packaging, this could discourage smokers from making the switch to vaping if it’s branded with the same harmful look as cigarettes.  

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Banning The Sale of Disposable Vapes

Disposable vapes have helped to reduce smoking rates due to their hassle-free and convenient introduction to vaping, banning these sales will only discourage the easy transition for smokers. 

A recent study has said if 50% of all UK ex-smokers switched to vaping then they would save the NHS £513 million per year! 

The Trading Standards teams should be assisted in their efforts to take tough measures against dishonest sellers who let children buy their disposables, to address the issue of underage minors’ access to these devices.

There are already corrupt store owners who sell unregulated and illicit disposables in their shops, banning these disposables will only create a further black market of disposable vapes that youths will easily be able to get their hands on.

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Taxing Vapes

In an effort to keep vaping items out of the hands of minors, the Government intends to raise taxes on them. One of the main factors encouraging smokers to stop is the financial savings they experience when they transition to vaping.

Tax increases only penalise adult vapers and deter adult smokers from trying to give up with a more cost-effective solution, rather than discouraging youths from spending their money on disposables. 

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Regulating No Nicotine Vape Products 

Currently, no nicotine products such as shortfills and 0mg disposables fall into the gap of being able to legally sell to underage minors. 

We agree with the government that the age limitations on nicotine-free e-liquids and disposables need to be applied, as they are with other vaping products. We already enforce this legal loophole through our online age verification standards.

Why Have Minors Started Vaping?

The teen vaping epidemic has been around for years, but the recent surge in popularity of disposable vapes, and unregulated brick-and-mortar stores seeing the money come in, have made it easier for minors to purchase vape products than ever before.

Vapoholic and other specialised vape companies implement rigorous age verification policies for online sales. However, there is a developing blind spot that includes a booming black market for disposable vapes and a large number of unlicensed store sellers who have no problem selling to minors.

The planned limits and ban target responsible smokers and those in the legal vaping industry. In the process, it will undoubtedly benefit illicit vendors and manufacturers whose business practices typically fly under the radar.

A ban would just make the problem worse because there is now a tremendous lack of enforcement.

Raising the fine, for stores selling to minors, four or five times more than £2,500 would demonstrate the Government’s determination to stop underage sales better than a complete prohibition.

How to Save Vaping in The UK

Vapers in the UK are displeased with the ongoing discussions regarding vaping in the Government since they do not include the opinions of the people who are most impacted – legitimate, adult vapers.

You can help to save vaping by voicing your concerns on their public opinion survey. Sharing the questionnaire amongst the vaping community, and writing to your local MP to get your voice heard. 

The most effective quit-smoking aid shouldn’t be banned due to the actions of unmonitored stores selling disposable vapes to minors. 

This is your chance to speak up!