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    Proposed fine on shops flouting disposable vape ban is ‘drop in ocean’

    (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

    Firms flouting the proposed ban on disposable vapes should face harsher fines to deter unscrupulous businesses, the Local Government Association (LGA) has said, calling for the government to amend the tobacco and vaping bill to allow councils to impose more severe fines.

    Under the government’s plans, businesses caught selling disposable vapes once the ban is in place could be given a fixed-penalty notice of £100 by their local council.

    The LGA has said that the proposed fine is too low and might let businesses off the hook. A minority could see the fine as a price worth paying to continue to sell the products, The Guardian quoted LGA as saying.

    Kaya Comer-Schwartz, the leader of Islington council and public health spokesperson for the LGA, said, “We are delighted that the government is taking decisive action to ban disposable vapes. However, proposed penalties will be a drop in the ocean to a minority of unscrupulous businesses looking to make a quick buck after the ban comes into place.”

    Councils can hand out larger penalties for other offences, according to LGA analysis, including up to £500 for littering, £500 for excessive noise from a licensed premises, £200 for a business failing to put up “no smoking” signs, and up to £150 for unauthorised distribution of free leaflets on public land.

    The LGA, which represents councils in England and Wales, is calling for the government to amend the tobacco and vaping bill to allow councils to impose more severe fines. Councils are also calling for new duties on vaping liquid announced in the budget to be used to fund local environmental, public health and enforcement services.

    The LGA has said they are urging the government to bring in a ban “as soon as is practical”.

    Comer-Schwartz said that allowing councils to issue bigger fines would act as a strong deterrent and ensure the ban on disposable vapes was effective. It would also be essential for creating a “new smoke-free generation”.

    She said, “We must do all we can to protect our children and our communities from the harm these single-use products can cause whilst ensuring e-cigarettes are available for those long-term smokers looking to quit.”

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