Banning disposable vapes in the UK will not help people give up smoking and vaping but will fuel the illicit market, independent retailers have warned.

 Muntazir Dipoti, the National President of the Federation of the Independent Retailers (the Fed), said: “While we agree that action is needed to prevent children and young people being attracted to vaping, we do not believe that banning disposable vapes is the way to go about it.”

 The ban on single use vapes was announced today (Monday) as the government responded to a consultation it launched in October 2023 on vaping and cigarettes, Creating a smokefree generation and tackling youth vaping.

 Mr Dipoti warned: “An outright ban will simply send youngsters towards unorthodox and illicit sources where there is no compliance to tobacco and vaping laws, while the products they peddle are likely to contain dangerous and illegal levels of toxic chemicals.

 “Disposable vapes are usually more affordable and, as such, are a bigger incentive for adult smokers to change to vapes.”

 To clamp down on young people vaping, the government needed to make more financial resources available for educational campaigns, while more enforcement activity was required, especially at borders to prevent counterfeit products entering the market, Mr Dipoti continued.

 Meanwhile, the introduction of a disposal scheme – similar to the deposit return scheme being planned for single use drinks containers – would better address the government’s concerns on the environmental impact that these products have.

 Mr Dipoti explained: “Vape retailers are responsible and offer a recycling option, but the government should be looking at making available more ways to safely recycle disposable vapes.”