Everyone has a role to play when it comes to preventing youth access to vapes. UK Vaping Industry Association Director General John Dunne explains why tough action and huge fines are needed to tackle this important issue.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last six months, you’ll know that preventing young people from accessing vape products is the new hot industry topic.
What used to be an issue discussed and addressed within the sector has spilled out into mainstream media, with the likes of Sky News, ITV, the BBC and most other national papers focusing in on youth vaping.
But let’s be honest…the headlines don’t make great reading at all.
Make no mistake, the real villains are the utterly unscrupulous retailers and individuals who are more than happy to sell to kids and make a quick buck.
If we are to combat rising numbers of underage vaping, then the supply of e-cigarettes to children must be cut off at the source.
Regulators, the education sector, enforcement bodies and, of course, the industry all have a responsibility to prevent vapes from falling into the wrong hands.
We cannot just stand back and say it’s not our problem.
A recent survey found that the proportion of children aged 11-17 who vape has risen from four percent in 2020 to seven percent this year.
It also revealed that disposable vapes are now the most popular products amongst 52 percent of underage vapers.
The UKVIA has very publicly called for a range of get-tough measures to crack down on these rouge traders who sell vapes to children and young people, including fines of £10,000 and a national retail licencing scheme.
At the same time we are working with the relevant authorities to identify the distributors and retailers that continue to peddle potentially dangerous non-compliant vape goods.
These crucial issues and more will be among the topics of debate at our upcoming Vaping Industry Forum and Exhibition at the QEII Centre in Westminster, London on Friday, November 18.
The ‘Vaping for a Better Future’ conference is expected to attract some 300 delegates, including vape executives, parliamentarians, healthcare practitioners, smoking cessation experts and academics.
It follows the ground-breaking Khan Review – a government-commissioned independent review into tobacco control policies – which endorsed vaping’s front and centre role in meeting England’s smokefree 2030 target.
It will also look at how the sector can maximise its public health, economic and social benefits.
What’s more, the industry’s first ever economic impact report, conducted by the Centre for Economics & Business Research (CEBR), will be unveiled at the event.
I’m very proud to say this year’s Vaping Industry Forum is set to be the biggest yet, coming at an exciting time for the sector, especially in the wake of the Khan Review.
For more information about the Forum, including details about how to buy tickets and sponsorship opportunities, go to www.ukvia.co.uk.