The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) is urging adult vapers, smokers and the industry to get behind its petition calling on the government not to ban disposable vapes and flavours.
The petition comes amid the ongoing consultation on youth vaping, which closes on 6th December.
UKVIA claims that blocking access to flavours and to disposables could prevent adult smokers from being able to quit the habit by switching to vapes. One in three vapers fear a ban on flavoured vaoes will lead them back to smoking, according to a survey commissioned by UKVIA.
To encourage consumers to pledge their support, the UKVIA is directly engaging with its own members, advocacy groups such as WeVape and online communities which have a combined membership of more than 100,000 adult vapers.
The leading trade association is also running a major social media campaign to maximise sign ups and is sharing stories of real ex-smokers whose lives have been changed for the better after switching to vaping.
John Dunne, director general of the UKVIA, said: “The prospect of heavy restrictions or bans on disposables or vape flavours, as being considered as part of the ongoing government consultation, could be the biggest health setback this century and risks undermining years of smokefree progress.
“Under no circumstances should these products end up in the hands of minors and there is no doubt that preventing youth access to vaping is critical, but this cannot be achieved by sacrificing the stop smoking potential of vaping for adult smokers. The voice of the vaper has gone largely unheard around the government’s consultation, yet they could be the victims of any punitive measures introduced.
“Therefore, we have created this petition to give a platform to the millions of adult vapers who have quit with the help of disposables and flavours - it is critical that vapers nationwide now come together to collectively warn the government against prohibitive and harmful legislation.”
Dunne added that banning flavours or disposables would likely lead to a dangerous growth in black market sales, putting money in the pockets of criminals and leading to a rise in unregulated and potentially dangerous illicit products, as has been seen in other countries, such as Australia.
The new petition was created as part of an ongoing UKVIA campaign to ‘Save Vaping, Save Lives’, which has also included equipping the association’s members with information to encourage and mobilise vapers to respond to the government’s youth vaping consultation.