LGA urges bigger fines for businesses that flout disposable vape ban


Disposable vapes

The Local Government Association (LGA) has urged the UK government to issue bigger fines to businesses that flout the upcoming disposable vape ban.

Under the government’s proposed plans, local councils could issues businesses selling disposable vapes after the ban has come into place with a fixed penalty notice worth £100. The UK government announced a ban on single-use vapes earlier this year, which is set to come into force on 1 April 2025.

The LGA, which represents councils in England and Wales, has warned that this proposed amount is too low and could “let unscrupulous businesses off the hook”. The Association said a minority of businesses could see the fine as a price worth paying to continue to sell the products.

The LGA has called for the government to amend the Tobacco and Vaping Bill to allow councils to impose bigger fines to prevent the illegal sale of disposable vapes and enforce the new age of sale legislation of tobacco products.

LGA analysis found that local authorities can hand out larger penalties for several other offences, including up to £500 for littering, £500 for excessive noise from licensed premises, and £200 for a business failing to put up “no smoking signs”.

Following the new duties on vaping liquid announced in the Spring Budget, councils have also called for the money raised to fund local environmental, public health and enforcement services.

Allowing councils to issue bigger fines would act as a strong deterrent and ensure the ban on disposable vapes is effective.

Cllr Kaya Comer Schwartz, public health spokesperson for the LGA, said: “We’re delighted that the government is taking decisive action to ban disposable vapes. However, proposed penalties will be a drop in the ocean to a minority of unscrupulous businesses looking to make a quick buck after the ban comes into place.

“Allowing councils to issue bigger fines would act as a strong deterrent and ensure the ban on disposable vapes is effective as well as creating a new smoke-free generation.

“We must do all we can to protect our children and our communities from the harm these single-use products can cause whilst ensuring e-cigarettes are available for those long term smokers looking to quit.”

Last week (11 March), the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) criticised councils over what it described as a “staggering lack of investment” in collection points for used e-cigarettes. The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) said it was “profoundly disappointed” by the criticism. 

LARAC said that local authorities are “shouldering most of the responsibility” for handling waste vapes and called for producers to bear the total net costs of collecting and recycling disposable vapes.

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