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Disposable Vapes to be Banned in the UK

Rishi Sunak announces a ban on disposable vapes and restrictions on flavours and packaging. Riot Responds.

Disposable Vapes to be Banned in the UK

Rishi Sunak, in an exclusive interview with Lad Bible of all places, today announced the governments 3 part plan to tackle the rise of youth vaping.

1. Introducing a ban on disposable vapes
2. Potential restrictions on flavour and packaging
3. To ban tobacco sales for those born after Jan 2009

Riot Responds:

In an election year, this is a knee jerk reaction from Rishi Sunak and a clear play for votes. The reality is, vaping has helped over 4m smokers quit tobacco, and improve their lives.

The narrative of kids and vaping has totally overshadowed the real purpose of vapes, to help adult smokers quit which is supported by Public Health England and publicly backed by CMO Professor Chris Whitty. Tackling the issue of youth vaping should be done through a licensing scheme for shops and more funding to crackdown on law-breaking vape retailers.

Vape shops have been operating in the UK for 14 years. There was no issue with youth vaping until disposables were introduced to the market and ended up in every convenience store in the country. A licence scheme that only allows dedicated specialist vape shops to sell vaping products would be an alternative, and major step in tackling youth vaping.

The decision to ban flavours leaves a horrible taste and we totally disagree with it. Studies show adults trying to quit through vaping rely on choice of flavour, and if implemented will refuse to follow a flavour ban. We do agree that changes must be made to packaging, with cartoons or images that appeal to children removed. This is a sensible step.

Prohibition does not work, and this new legislation will open up a black market worth billions that the Government won't be able to deal with unless there is significant funding in trading standards. Just this weekend it was reported that 4m illegal vapes were seized at the border. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

However, Riot Labs does fully support the decision to ban certain disposable products that do have a negative impact on the environment. For three years we have been banging this drum, introducing a carbon negative device in 2022, pioneering a dedicated recycling scheme, and this month launching a new device, Connex.

Changing consumer buyer behaviour through innovation in the vape sector is the true answer to ensuring e-cigarettes continue to be a smoke cessation tool for smokers. 72,000 die each year through tobacco use, and this is the problem we should all be talking about.

Riot Labs will proudly take the fight to the Government on certain areas of this new legislation and support responsible retailers who play a crucial role in engaging with smokers, and helping them quit. A sizable 4m voters have reaped the benefits of vaping, and Sunak shouldn't be so hasty to dismiss their views. Choosing votes over vapes is terribly misguided from the PM.

Hear our Sales Director, Matt Crann speak with LBC's Tom Swarbrick on the issue today and outline the importance of licensing within the UK vaping industry.