Heftier fines needed for businesses who flout disposable vape ban

The LGA is warning that the fine amount is too low and might let unscrupulous businesses off the hook.

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Businesses should face tougher fines if they flout the proposed ban on disposable vapes, the Local Government Association (LGA) has urged today.

Under the Government’s proposed plans, businesses caught selling disposable vapes after the ban has come into place could be given a fixed penalty notice worth £100 by their local council.

The LGA is warning that this proposed fine amount is too low and might let unscrupulous businesses off the hook. A minority of irresponsible businesses might see this as being a price worth paying to continue to sell the products once a ban is in place.

LGA analysis also found that councils can hand out larger penalties for a number of other offences, including:

  • up to £500 for littering
  • £500 for excessive noise from a licensed premises
  • £200 for a business failing to put up ‘no smoking signs’
  • up to £150 for unauthorised distribution of free leaflets on public land

The LGA, which represents councils in England and Wales, is calling for the Government to amend the Tobacco and Vaping Bill to allow councils to impose heftier fines to prevent the illegal sale of disposable vapes as well as enforcing the new age of sale legislation of tobacco products.

Councils are also calling for new duties on vaping liquid announced at the Budget to be used to fund local environmental, public health and enforcement services.

The LGA has helped lead calls for a ban on disposable vapes.

Disposable vapes blight our streets as litter, are a hazard in council bin lorries, and are expensive and difficult to deal with in our recycling centres. Their colours, flavours and advertising are appealing to children and are an increasing risk to the health of young people.

Councils have argued that disposable vapes are inherently unsustainable products, meaning an outright ban is the most effective solution to this problem and are urging the Government bring in a ban as soon as is practical.

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 smokefree 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.”