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    Banning single use vapes will boost ‘illicit market’, retailers warn Scotland

    Photo: iStock

    Independent retailers are warning Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf that banning single use vapes will fuel illicit sales.

    Unveiling his Programme for Government on Tuesday (5), Yousaf said a consultation on banning the devices would be launched next year. The programme includes plans to address vaping in Scotland both in terms of use of vaping products by nonsmokers and young people and tackling the environmental impact of single-use vapes.

    Responding, the Fed’s president in Scotland Hussan Lal said, “Banning disposable vapes will simply expand an already booming illicit market.

    “Vapes help many give up smoking and are part of life now.  I am confident the black market will become even more active.  These illicit products are already on sale at car boot sales, mobile phone shops, cafes and tanning salons as well as via the internet and by dealers delivering direct to homes.

    “Rather than looking to ban single use vapes, the government should be looking at responsible ways of recycling them and more educational campaigns.”

    On the other hand, Association of Convenience Stores has welcomed the consultation.

    ACS chief executive James Lowman said, “We welcome a consultation on preventing young people from accessing vaping products and addressing their environmental impact. The vaping category has grown significantly over the past few years and convenience stores across Scotland are committed to the responsible sale of these products.

    “More enforcement action and clearer regulation of the vaping market is needed, but a sweeping ban on single-use vapes would be an overaction to a category that can play a positive role in meeting Scotland’s 2034 tobacco-free targets.”

    Anti-smoking campaign group Action of Smoking and Health (ASH) has also warned that a ban would increase the trade in illegal vapes as well as making it harder for some adults to give up smoking. The Fed will respond to the consultation when it opens next year.

    Scotland’s consultation comes as the French Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne suggested that Franc would ban the sale of disposable electronic cigarettes.

    The Scottish Programme for Government is available here: https://www.gov.scot/programme-for-government/

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