IBVTA statement on reports that the Government may shortly announce single use vapes ban
Big Tobacco and Illicit Vape Market to boom in event of vape bans
The Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA), the leading independent trade association for the UK vaping industry, has released the following statement responding to reports that the Government may shortly announce possible bans on single-use vapes and flavours.
Chair of the IBVTA, Marcus Saxton said:
“Children and those who have not smoked should not be using vapes and the industry is making significant efforts and progress to protect children including launching an industry code of conduct and changes to product descriptors and flavour names. However, introducing bans on single-use vapes and flavours, will have hugely damaging consequences including making it harder for smokers to quit and will push those that have quit, back into smoking. Big tobacco will be rubbing its hands with glee in anticipation of possible vape bans.
“Further, with an estimated third of the UK vape market comprising illicit products, any ban will simply benefit those pushing illegal and unregulated product as people seek out single-use and flavoured products from illicit sources.
“Research by Cancer Research UK and UCL published in recent days shows the critical role that single use vapes are playing in helping the 6.4 million smokers in the UK to quit and the risks of introducing bans. The vape industry stands ready to work with government to implement a proportionate regulatory regime, but introducing knee-jerk and unevidenced bans is not the solution. It’s simple – bans do not work.”
Notes to Editors:
IBVTA member commissioned research of 2,000 adults from January 2024 has shown that if single use vapes and flavours were banned 38% of regular smokers and recent ex-smokers that have used vaping to reduce or fully quit smoking would either smoke more cigarettes, switch back to smoking or purchase illegal vapes. This equates to more than 1 million adult smokers and recent ex-smokers (quit less than 5 years ago).
The Government further risks jeopardising quit efforts and missing its own smokefree 2030 target and potential savings including a possible £500m a year if half of England’s adult smokers vaped instead of smoked1.
Despite these advances, the public’s understanding of vaping’s benefits among smokers, has also diminished due to the stream of negative headlines. According to research published by UCL in December 2023 the decline in smoking rate has stalled3 in part due to the negative headlines around vaping. Findings from YouGov conducted in January 2024, indicates that 11% of people now believe vaping is as or more harmful than smoking, whilst 41% think both are about the same, a figure which is astonishing given vaping is recognised by Public Health England as 95% safer than tobacco use.
The IBVTA is the trade organisation for all responsible and ethical independent vape businesses in the UK and exists to give the independent vaping sector a voice with government bodies, regulators and enforcement agencies. The IBVTA represents the UK’s leading vape manufacturers, importers, distributors, and vendors and has no links to the tobacco industry.
Original research was commissioned by an IBVTA member and undertaken by Opinium via a survey of 2,000 UK adults in January 2024.
IBVTA member commissioned research by Opinium of 6,000 UK adults in November 2023 revealed that 59% of adult vapers believe that having a range of flavours helps them to reduce their smoking or from going back to smoking.
IBVTA member commissioned research by Opinium of 6,000 UK adults in August 2023 showed that 72% of ex-smokers (who quit in the past 5 years) and 56% of smokers believe single-use devices are helpful in assisting individuals to reduce their smoking levels.
The Office for National Statistics reported that in 2022, 6.4 million people in the UK were regular smokers, equating to 12.9% of the adult population.