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BAT CEO says proposed UK disposable vapes ban will not be "effective"

26th Mar 2024 06:50

(Alliance News) - The boss of British American Tobacco PLC has said a ban on disposable vapes in the UK will not be "effective", claiming similar legislation overseas has not worked.

Last week, the government introduced legislation aimed at curbing youth smoking, with the tobacco & vapes bill restricting the sale of tobacco so that anyone turning 15 this year, or younger, will never legally be sold cigarettes.

It will effectively raise the age of tobacco sale by one year every year, with the aim of stopping today's youngsters from ever taking up smoking in the first place.

The bill will also tackle youth vaping, by introducing new powers to restrict vape flavours and packaging intentionally marketed at children.

Separately, the government has committed to ban disposable vapes from April 2025 under environmental laws.

However, Tadeu Marroco, chief executive of BAT, told the BBC similar legislation introduced overseas had only pushed people to the illegal market.

"In other countries this hasn't been effective," he said.

"In Australia they have banned the whole category, and the amount teenagers use in the illegal market is very high. The same is happening in Brazil."

Marroco also warned of "non-intended consequences" of the government's plan for rising age restrictions, instead suggesting a "retail licence as we (have) for alcohol", and a ban on flavours which might appeal to children such as sweets and soft drinks.

He said: "There is no doubt that the UK is being looked at by a number of countries around the world.

"That's why it's so important to get it right here."

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the anti-smoking charity Action on Smoking and Health, told the broadcaster: "The ban on disposables can be made to work but it requires tough enforcement not just in shops but at the border to prevent illegal imports."

source: PA

Copyright 2024 Alliance News Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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