The Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA) has outlined a series of policy recommendations designed to tackle key challenges in the UK vaping sector and deliver a sustainable future for the industry.
The trade body is hosting a national conference for the vape industry today (26th October), in the backdrop of the government consultation which sets out a range of options to reduce vape product availability to young people.
While vaping has been shown to be one of the most effective tools when it comes to kicking smoking, the industry has seen a slew of negative headlines in recent months due to underage sales, a surge in illicit products and concerns about the environmental impact of single use vapes.
The IBVTA has warned that unless the sector steps up to mark to address these challenges, it faces an uncertain future. The conference at Birmingham’s National Conference Centre is expected to help shape a detailed response to the government’s consultation, and a future model of best practice for the industry.
Alongside industry players, the event will also hear from representatives from across the government and law enforcement.
The IBVTA will be making five broad recommendations for the sector.
- The IBVTA is calling upon key manufacturers and retailers to sign up to an industry code of conduct, that will ensure high standards are maintained across the industry.
- The IBVTA recommends harsher fines and more frequent imposition of penalties for irresponsible retailers who are found to be selling vaping products to underage customers.
- The IBVTA is calling for responsible product marketing that minimises disproportionate appeal to children.
- To encourage greater levels of recycling, the IBVTA is calling on the industry to ensure both producers and retailers are delivering on their recycling and take back obligations through clear awareness, governance, and closer collaboration with responsible approved and authorised treatment facilities. The IBVTA is also calling for clearer communications with consumers about the right way to return their products for responsible recycling.
- To tackle the booming trade in illicit and often dangerous products, the IBVTA is endorsing the government’s plans to materially increase resources for the UK Border agencies and for national and local law enforcement. In addition, IBVTA will be encouraging brand-led intelligence schemes which will ensure local intelligence and enforcement action is as effective as possible.
Commenting ahead of the event, Marcus Saxton, chair of the IBVTA said: “Vaping is a key tool when it comes to smoking cessation and has a significant role to play in delivering the Prime Minister’s vision of a smoke-free UK. Recent years however have seen the industry come under pressure as illicit products and potentially dangerous products have entered the market and as a result are making it easier for them to get into the hands of children.
“The industry shouldn’t just wait for government and should be taking the lead on tackling these issues. That’s why we’re bringing key players together to discuss these and other issues this week, and it’s why we are today outlining five broad policy objectives. These steps are key to building a safe and sustainable vaping sector, protecting children and the environment, that consumers and regulators can be confident in.”