Scotland cracks down on illegal vaping products amid health and environmental concerns

Border Force seizes millions of vapes in a year

The UK Border Force has intercepted more than 4.5 million illegal vapes at the border between January and October last year, according to new data released to the BBC. This is a four-fold increase from the previous year, when 988,064 vapes were seized. The illegal vapes are either counterfeit, non-compliant with safety and quality standards, or smuggled to avoid customs duties.

The surge in illegal vapes poses a serious threat to public health and the environment, as they may contain harmful chemicals, higher nicotine levels, and faulty batteries. Moreover, they are often marketed to young people with attractive flavours and packaging, potentially leading to nicotine addiction and smoking initiation.

Scottish government plans to ban disposable vapes

In response to the growing problem of illegal and youth vaping, the Scottish government has announced that it will use its devolved powers to ban disposable vapes. Disposable vapes are the most popular vaping device among teenagers in Scotland, with 22% of under-18s having used them last year. They are also a major source of waste and pollution, as they are thrown away after use and often end up in landfills or as litter.

Border Force seizes millions of vapes in a year

The ban on disposable vapes is part of a wider package of measures to protect young people from the harms of tobacco and vaping, which also includes:

  • Restricting vape flavours, promotion, display, and packaging
  • Raising the age limit for buying tobacco to 18 for anyone born after 1 January 2009
  • Introducing fixed penalty notices for breaching the age of sale legislation for tobacco and vapes
  • Supporting smoking cessation services and education campaigns

The Scottish government said it wants to create a smoke-free generation and prevent children from becoming the next generation of nicotine addicts.

Vaping industry calls for regulation, not prohibition

The vaping industry, however, has criticised the proposed ban on disposable vapes, arguing that it will deprive adult smokers of a less harmful alternative to cigarettes. The Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA) said that disposable vapes are a legitimate and regulated product in the UK, and that the problem lies with the illegal and non-compliant vapes that are flooding the market.

The IBVTA urged the government to enforce the existing laws and regulations on vaping products, rather than imposing a blanket ban that will harm the legitimate industry and its customers. It also said that vaping is a proven tool for helping smokers quit, and that there is no evidence that it leads to youth smoking.

The IBVTA also displayed a collection of illegal and non-compliant vapes in Parliament, to highlight the need for better enforcement and awareness.

By Dayna Bass

Dayna Bass is a talented news writer at our website, delivering compelling and timely stories to our readers. With a passion for journalism and a keen eye for detail, Dayna covers a wide range of topics, ensuring that our audience stays informed about the latest news and developments. Whether it's breaking news, investigative reports, or human interest stories, Dayna's articles are meticulously researched and written with clarity and accuracy.

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