With vaping being a topic of significant discussion, the UK government has aimed to regulate its sale, especially to those under 18. Here's how the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) has responded to these proposed changes.
The UKVIA's Stance
The Director General of UKVIA, John Dunne, emphatically states, "The law is absolutely clear - it is illegal to sell vapes to U18 year olds, and therefore it is a criminal offence to do so. Therefore, we welcome the targeted action expected to be announced by the government on youth vaping, which clearly homes in on cutting the source of supply of vapes to minors from rogue resellers. This is the approach we have been calling for government to adopt for some time and which was reflected in detailed proposals that we presented at the end of last month in Parliament.
"We're especially pleased that the government has taken on board our idea of a test purchasing scheme across the country which will help to keep a much-needed close eye on the sales activities of retailers.
"We also applaud the move to create an illicit vapes enforcement squad to enhance the capability and outcomes of Trading Standards in dealing with the rising level of illicit products that are on the market as well as underage sales.
"There is no doubt that action directed at those illegally selling vape products to children is the way forward. Vitally, it means that any youth vaping prevention measures cannot be to the detriment of adult smokers looking to quit through vaping and vapers who want to avoid a return to smoking. This is precisely the effect a ban on flavoured vapes would have, given the fact that adult smokers and vapers rely on them to quit their habits and avoid relapsing.
"As the largest trade association for the vaping sector in the UK, we will also contribute to the Government's Call for Evidence, which is expected, re-emphasising the proposals we have to date put forward."
Acknowledging the problem, the government's action zooms in on rogue resellers who provide vapes to minors.
Test Purchasing Scheme
The UKVIA applauds the introduction of a test purchasing scheme. It'll act as the ever-watchful eye, ensuring retailers adhere to sales protocols.
Illicit Vapes Enforcement Squad
A new enforcement squad will enhance the capabilities of Trading Standards, tackling both the illicit products in the market and their illegal sales to minors.
Impact on Adult Smokers
Vaping has been a transition tool for many trying to quit smoking. Hence, any regulations must not hamper this group's journey. And flavoured vapes? They play a more significant role than you might think!
Role of Flavoured Vapes
Ban flavoured vapes, and you might send 1.5 million former smokers back to their old habits. With 83% of vapers claiming these flavoured versions help them quit, it's evident they're more than just 'fun flavours'.
UKVIA's Efforts and Initiatives
As the UK's leading trade association for vaping, UKVIA isn't just a bystander. They've been proactive, launching initiatives and putting forward proposals.
Youth Vaping Prevention Plan
Last month, UKVIA unveiled a rigorous plan targeting youth vaping. This plan hopes to set strict standards and consequences for non-compliance.
Fines and Penalties
Imagine a retailer paying up to £10,000 for selling vape products to a minor! These proposed fines intend to act as a strong deterrent.
National Registration Scheme
Not every retailer may have the privilege to sell vape products in the future. UKVIA suggests a registration scheme where only qualified retailers get the green light.
Monitoring and Enforcement
Where's the money from the fines going? Straight into ensuring even stricter enforcement by Trading Standards.
Research on Flavoured Vapes
Recent research commissioned by UKVIA had some startling revelations. A ban on flavoured vapes could reverse the efforts of millions trying to quit smoking.
Packaging and Labelling Guidelines
Beyond sales, UKVIA also emphasises responsible marketing. Guidelines around packaging and labelling aim to be child-proof, limiting any appeal to younger audiences.
As vaping continues to evolve, so does the need for regulation. However, a balance must be struck - protecting our youth while ensuring adult smokers have the necessary tools. The UKVIA, with its initiatives and response, aims to be a significant part of this conversation.
Why is the government cracking down on vape sales to minors?
The government recognises the potential health risks and wants to ensure the protection of minors.
What role does UKVIA play in the vaping industry?
UKVIA is the largest trade association representing the vaping sector in the UK.
Why are flavoured vapes important for adult smokers?
Flavoured vapes have proven to be a significant aid for those trying to quit smoking, helping their transition.
How will the new regulations impact retailers?
Retailers will be subjected to stricter guidelines, monitoring, and fines if they fail to comply.