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    Disposable vape ban: Scotland proposes fines between £5,000 and £10,000

    Photo: iStock

    The Scottish government has published a new six week consultation on the implementation of the disposable vapes ban, expanding on the definition of a disposable vape and outlining the fines that will be issued to businesses who continue to sell and supply disposables after a ban.

    The ban, which is scheduled to come into force in April 2025, is subject to separate regulations in Scotland which closely resemble those in England.

    The consultation proposes a level five fine for those who commit an offence under the new law, which is equivalent to between £5,000 and £10,000.

    The consultation also refers to a £30m enforcement budget, which the Scottish government states will ‘support enforcement in Scotland’ through additional funding for HMRC and Border Force.

    Scotland is the first UK nation to provide more detail on their definition of a disposable vape, which is as follows:

    • Not refillable (for the purposes of this regulation, a vape is not refillable, unless it is designed to include a single-use container which is separately available and can be replaced by an individual user in the normal course of use, or a container which can be refilled by an individual user in the normal course of use)
    • Not rechargeable (for the purposes of this regulation, a vape is not rechargeable if it is designed to contain a battery which cannot be recharged, or a coil which is not separately available and cannot be replaced by an individual user in the normal course of use, including any coil which is contained in a single-use cartridge or pod which is not separately available and cannot be replaced by an individual user in the normal course of use)
    • Not refillable and not rechargeable.

    Commenting, ACS chief executive James Lowman said the upcoming ban will provide a significant boost for rogue traders selling illicit products as one in four existing disposable users say they’ll carry on buying them after a ban comes into force.

    “We support the Scottish government’s stronger approach to enforcement when it comes to the severity of the fines being imposed, but the £30m enforcement budget is being stretched extremely thin to cover not just Trading Standards, but also HMRC and Border Force activity across the UK,” Lowman said, calling on the UK government to provide significantly more funding for local enforcement and put in place serious sanctions for those committing an offence to support responsible retailers and get illicit product off the streets.

    The consultation comes as enforcement activity has begun against retailers that do not provide vape recycling services in their stores. At the start of 2024, vapes were taken out of the WEEE Distributor Takeback Scheme (phase 7), which means that a retailer who sells any quantity of vapes has to provide a recycling service on a 1:1 basis.

    ACS has detailed advice on how to provide a recycling service here.

    The trade body has also urged retailers to contact their MPs to highlight their concerns about the disposable vape ban and the impact that it will have on their business. A template email is available for retailers to utilise here.

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