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Home » UKVIA statement on the Scottish Government’s plan to ban single-use vapes from April 1, 2025

UKVIA statement on the Scottish Government’s plan to ban single-use vapes from April 1, 2025

The UK Vaping Industry Association is extremely disappointed that the Scottish Government has published its proposed regulations which will see the sales of disposable vapes banned from April 1, 2025.

The banning of the very devices that have proved to be so successful in helping record numbers of adult smokers quit, will result in serious unintended consequences.

The direct consequences of this ill-thought-out ban will see smoking deaths rise as smokers who have successfully transitioned to vaping, reluctantly return to cigarettes with all the health harms, losses to the economy and burden on the NHS this will bring in its wake.

Neither will this ban deal with the problem of youth uptake of vaping which is one of the core aims of this legislation. In fact, all the signs point to it actually having exactly the opposite effect as criminal gangs will move in to fill the huge gap in the regulated market with potentially dangerous black market single use vapes.

We have already seen horror stories of children being rushed to hospital after using illegal vapes with e-liquid laced with THC or Spice or contaminated with potentially deadly heavy metals.

Given that an estimated one in three vape sales sold in the UK come from illegal or illicit channels, it is clear that banning already legal products is not the answer. The ban will see a flood of illegal products coming into our cities and towns and this issue simply cannot be ignored.

We already have the solution to this problem and that is enforcing the existing laws which make it a criminal offence to sell vapes to under 18s.

But the UKVIA and the overwhelming majority of the regulated vape industry want to go even further to take positive action which would make a difference. This is why, for four years, we have been calling on the UK Government to introduce a vape licensing scheme for retailers, backed up by £10,000 fines to fund a national programme of Trading Standards enforcement against those who sell to children or sell anything but legal, regulated vape products.

While the Government hasn’t moved on this to date, the industry has. UKVIA Director General John Dunne this week attended the parliamentary launch of a framework for the UK’s first vape retailer and distributor licensing scheme.

The framework, which has been created to enable Trading Standards to ‘bring the hammer down’ on rogue businesses, would usher in a new era of responsibility for the sector.

Retail fees alone are estimated to generate more than £50 million per year, which could be used to fund a proactive programme of enforcement – including bi-annual test purchasing and stock checks. This is 60% more than the one-off £30 million investment announced by the government last year.

It is sensible measures like this which will protect our young people while ensuring that smokers have access to the vape products that work so well in helping them switch from combustible tobacco.

The UKVIA has always supported fair and proportionate regulations for the vape industry and we will continue to do so.

The knee-jerk response to ban single-use vapes will not work but if the Scottish and UK Governments are determined to roll the dice with people’s lives by turning vapers back to smokers then at least work with us to establish a licensing scheme which will transform regulatory enforcement to set a standard for the rest of the world to follow.

The Scottish Government’s press release on the new ban can be found here.

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