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    Consumer body asks vapers to respond to government consultation

    Photo: iStock

    New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) UK, a consumer body promoting safer nicotine products for reducing cigarette smoking, has urged vape users to respond individually to the government consultation on vaping.

    Launched last week, the consultation sets out a range of options to reduce vape product availability to young people.

    The consultation also proposes to make it an offence for anyone born on or after 1 January 2009 to be sold tobacco products, and products that would be in scope of the change also include heated tobacco products, which are considered as a smokefree product.

    NNA said the threats to consumers of safer nicotine products in the consultation document are many. Options being consulted on by the government include:

    • Taking a very hard line on vaping flavours, with suggestions to restrict the way flavours are described or to harshly limit which flavours can be sold. One suggestion is to only allow tobacco flavoured vapes.
    • Mandating vaping products to be kept behind counter either on display or hidden like cigarettes. The document discusses a possible exemption for vape shops, not a definite one.
    • Restricting or completely prohibiting attractive packaging for vaping products. Proposals go from banning child-friendly images right up to full plain packaging the same as cigarettes.
    • Whether to prohibit sales of single use (disposable) vaping products and how it should be implemented. It includes a question asking which other products should also be banned.
    • Including non-nicotine products in current legislation for nicotine containing vapes.
    • Regulating nicotine pouches in the same manner as vaping products.
    • Taxing vaping products to deter youth uptake.
    • Dismissing the less harmful nature of heated tobacco products by including them in the proposed generational ban on sales of cigarettes to anyone born after 1 January, 2009.

    The proposals also include introducing new powers for local authorities to issue fixed penalty notices for anyone found to be selling tobacco and nicotine products to minors, which includes proxy purchasing.

    “The NNA will be submitting a response to the consultation in due course, but we hope all our supporters will recognise the importance of submitting individual responses too. Please do consider getting involved in this process and have your say,” the organsiation said in a statement.

    NNA trustee Michelle Jones has written a guide on responding to the consultation, which can be viewed here.

    “Consumers and supporters of harm reduction are a powerful voice. In 2010, consumers successfully fended off very unwise government plans to strangle vaping at birth. Consumers from across Europe also fought an attempt by the European Union a decade ago to prohibit sales of vaping products except by medical prescription and won. It is time to step up and fight again,” NNA added.

    The consultation, launched in collaboration with the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, is open to all groups and individuals and closes on 6 December.

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