The UK government have released a consultation survey to get opinions from the public on smoking and vaping regulation.
What Is The Smoking & Vaping Consultation?
There is a briefing page outlining the consultation which you can read here. However I will summarise the main points for you.
Basically the government are looking to create new regulations on smoking and vaping.
Obviously with smoking they are looking at a ban to prevent anyone who was born on or after January 9th 2009 being able to purchase tobacco in the future. In theory creating a “smoke free” generation. We have covered more about this here.
Vaping wise the issue of youth and underage vaping is the main issue. However some of the possible outcomes could be prohibitive towards adult vapers – which is where I personally am concerned.
The consultation is basically a survey for members of the public to respond to possible future restrictions and give their thoughts and evidence. Remember evidence can be as simple as just telling your own story.
In the briefing paper it is said…
“The government is committed to clamping down on vapes being promoted to children while ensuring adults who want to quit smoking remain supported”
What Are The Consultation Topics?
There is a document covering all the topics and questions here.
But to summarise – the topics included are…
- The ban on people born on or after January 2009 being able to purchase tobacco products.
- Restricting flavours and descriptions of vapes in order for them not to be targeted towards children. There is also a mention that this needs to be done in a way that still supports adults who want to switch from smoking to vaping.
- Regulations on point of sale displays to make sure vapes are out of sight and away from products targeted towards children.
- Regulations on packaging to ensure they are not child orientated.
- Possible restrictions on disposable (single use) vapes for environmental and youth reasons.
- The regulation of non-nicotine vapes and other safer nicotine products such as nicotine pouches.
- Looking at the option of increasing the price of vapes and whether that will put off young people purchasing them.
- Powers for local authorities to enforce underage regulations on tobacco and vape purchases. For instance fixed penalty notices (on the spot fines).
Points To Consider When Responding
Remember your own story is evidence. Talk about how vaping or other safer nicotine products helped you to quit or cut down on smoking. Tell how the thought of losing this tool is scary and might lead you back to smoking. Tell them your age and the flavours you enjoy.
Of course it is entirely up to you how you respond – but if a safer nicotine product has helped you quit tobacco please tell your story!
Remember there is legislation already in place to prevent under 18’s purchasing vapes, safer nicotine or tobacco products. The enforcement of these laws is where the system is failing. Trading Standards need more resources and penalties need to be harsher to help prevent underage sales.
Plus somehow a lot of illegal and potentially dodgy disposable devices are getting into the UK, why are these going under the radar? There must be private sales going on somewhere as I do find illegal (non TPD) vape waste on my dog walks – so how are these getting into the hands of the general public – especially young people?
As for sales of vapes and safer nicotine products, surely they should be available anywhere that sells tobacco or cigarettes. The opportunity to appeal to someone purchasing tobacco and making an impulse buy of a vape or other safer nicotine product is too high to loose. If the promotion of these devices is restricted or they are even hidden from view – would the opportunity to appeal to a person who smokes be lost?
When it comes to disposables we all have our own opinions. But bear in mind there are people who cannot operate refillable vapes (my late Mom would have been a disposable vape user to keep her off the ciggies – she loved a cigalike).
Also they may appeal to those who buy pre-rolled cigarettes – who just want the simplicity of opening the pack and getting on with it. If disposables have helped you quit smoking make sure to tell your story in your response.
Obviously the waste from disposable vapes needs a strong solution. There are recycling options about, but the public are not well informed of them and they can be pretty inconvenient for some who do not live in big cities. The recycling effort needs to be improved and I believe any retailer selling disposables should be taking back used ones.
The disposable manufacturers should perhaps offer incentives to businesses and consumers to return used disposables for perhaps a discount or replacements.
Flavours & Packaging
How important are flavours to you? If you were restricted to only a Tobacco or unflavoured e-liquid would you go back to smoking? Would you resort to the black market to obtain products? Make sure to talk about this in your response.
How would plain or restricted packaging affect you? Personally I am not bothered what box my vape comes in. But there is also the argument that plain packaging may make people view vapes as being dangerous – especially as Cigarettes and Tobacco are now in plain packaging. Would people compare them as being of equal danger?
If vapes were more expensive would you still purchase them? How would a price increase affect you? Would you be tempted to return to smoking? Think about the target market and whether it would prevent some adults from trying a vape? Is it likely to deter those underage?
What Do You Need To Do?
- Visit the site here – https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/creating-a-smokefree-generation-and-tackling-youth-vaping.
- Complete the questions by 6th December 2023
- Tell your own story – say how these products have helped you, list any health conditions you had when smoking and their progression since vaping. Talk about the devices and flavours you use. How did this technology change your life? What will happen to you if the products you use are banned? Also any other possible solutions you can think of.
- You do not have to respond to every section – it asks you if you want to take part in each section
- Share with any vapers you know!
- Please get your voice heard!!
The UKVIA and IBVTA have published responses to the consultation…
- UKVIA Response To UK Government Smoking & Vaping Consultation
- IBVTA Responds To UK Government Smoking & Vaping Consultation.
As more responses come in I will add them.
— Martin Dockrell (@SwitchFinder) October 12, 2023
In a news release launching a public consultation on smoking and vaping “to create a smokefree generation”, the UK Govt commits “to clamping down on vapes being promoted to children while ensuring adults who want to quit smoking remain supported.”https://t.co/SOAdwF57zt
— The Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction (@GlobalStateTHR) October 12, 2023
Do use this opportunity to make your voice heard https://t.co/uad1S9E43O
— Louise (@grannylouisa) October 12, 2023
Do contribute to the consultation https://t.co/1gVogOWEBB
— NCSCT (@NCSCT) October 12, 2023