The president of the Federation of Independent Retailers (the Fed) in Wales has said he shares the concerns that members of the Senedd have regarding sales of single use vapes to young people but warns against an outright ban.
Vince Malone’s comments followed a debate in the Welsh government which called for single use vapes to be only available on prescription to adults who wanted to quit smoking.
Cardiff Central MS Jenny Rathbone said raspberry and bubble gum-flavoured vapes were leading to children as young as four taking up vaping.
Malone said: “Selling vapes to children is wrong and we agree that steps should be taken to prevent young people being attracted to and being able to purchase these products.
“However, banning them or making them available only on prescription to adults wanting to give up smoking could fuel illicit vape sales, giving unscrupulous criminals more opportunity to profit by selling vapes and e-cigarettes to minors.”
During the debate, concerns were also expressed that single use vapes posed a threat to the environment, with health and safety concerns raised about them being discarded in domestic waste.
Malone said: “Vape retailers are responsible and offer a recycling option, but the government should be looking, too, at making available more ways to safely recycle disposable vapes.”