CTSI welcomes clarity and action from government to tackle youth vaping

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has welcomed the announcements from the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) to ban disposable vapes and to strengthen the tools and resources for Trading Standards to make this achievable.

The measures announced come as part of the government’s response to its Smokefree Generation plans, which were announced last year. CTSI is pleased to see that a number of recommendations the Institute first proposed early last year have now been included as part of the plans to crack down on youth vaping.

In addition to the ban on disposable vapes the DHSC plan to introduce new restrictions to reduce the appeal of vapes to children, including measures to:

  • Restrict vape flavours
  • Introduce plain packaging
  • Introduce rules around placement in shops
  • Apply the above restrictions to non-nicotine vapes and other consumer nicotine products such as nicotine pouches

The government will also introduce new fines for shops in England and Wales who illegally sell vapes to children. The Government has said that Trading standards officers will be empowered to act ‘on the spot’ to tackle underage tobacco and vape sales and CTSI welcomes this addition to the enforcement toolkit.

CTSI Chief Executive, John Herriman, said: “We are very pleased to see that Government have now provided the clarity that disposable vapes will be banned. This is an important first step in protecting young people from what has been an increasing risk that trading standards has been highlighting for some time now. However, whilst it’s good to see the commitment to protecting young people by banning disposable vapes the effectiveness of these plans will depend on the tools and resourcing made available to Trading Standards and other partners to ensure effective enforcement.

“Trading Standards are a crucial player in achieving compliance and protecting communities at a local level, and we look forward to continued discussions in how the £30 million of funding per year will be best allocated, and we would welcome a commitment that similar funding and resourcing will be made available for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, because this is a UK wide problem.”

CTSI Lead Officer for Vaping, Kate Pike, said: “In order to support businesses to ensure that disposable vapes are no longer sold, we’ll need a really clear definition on what is included and how to identify them. It’s easy to say something is banned – we need clear and practical legislation and guidance to ensure it actually happens. We also need to be able to stop all illegal vapes coming into the country in the first place so effective legislation which bans imports, as well as increased resources at ports and borders, will be vital”.

CTSI also welcomes the HM Revenue and Customs and Border Force’s refreshed strategy to tackle illicit tobacco published today, which sets out plans to reduce the trade in illicit tobacco, with a focus on reducing demand, alongside disrupting the organised crime networks behind the illicit tobacco trade.