The Scottish Government has acknowledged that enforcement was the biggest concern raised by those who submitted evidence to the single-use vapes consultation, while the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has stressed that the £30m enforcement budget is “being stretched extremely thin”.

It comes as the Scottish Government has published its response to the consultation on details surrounding the introduction of a ban on disposable vaping products, set to come into force in April 2025.

The response provides more information about the way that the rules will be enforced, as well as additional clarity on their views on the definition of a disposable vape.

The response sets out additional powers to allow Trading Standards officers to identify rogue sellers, enter premises and seize illegitimate products. Those who commit an offence could be subject to receive a level five fine, which is equivalent to between £5,000 and £10,000.

This is in contrast to the regulations in England, which stipulate a range of notices which could be imposed on a business and an initial £200 fixed penalty notice for an offence, reduced to £100 if paid within 28 days.

While the ACS supports the Scottish Government’s commitment to making enforcement as straightforward and effective as possible, chief executive James Lowman commented: ”We have raised concerns a number of times that the overall £30m enforcement budget is being stretched extremely thin to cover not just Trading Standards, but also HMRC and Border Force activity across the UK.

“Research and modelling from Trading Standards experts demonstrates a need for a huge increase in enforcement funding for this policy to be effective, which we will continue to call for to ensure that the illicit trade doesn’t get an unintended boost from a disposable vapes ban.”

The response provides details on the vaping products that are set to be banned in April 2025 must meet to the following criteria:

  • Not refillable by an individual user in the normal course of their use
  • Not rechargeable
  • Not refillable and not rechargeable
  • Not able to be fitted with a replacement heating coil which is separately available and replaceable by an individual user in the normal course of their use