Consultation on generational smoking ban set to conclude

Consultation on generational smoking ban set to conclude

Tobacco and vaping companies are urging retailers to respond to the Generational Smoking Ban consultation ahead of its closing date of 6th December.

The eight-week consultation launched on 12th October and featured proposals to make it illegal for anyone born on or after 1st January 2009 to ever be sold tobacco products at any point in their lives.

It also includes a series of proposals to clamp down on the sale and use of vapes by children and young people including restrictions on flavours, display, packaging and disposable vapes.

Comments in response to the public consultation were welcomed from anyone of any age.

The Federation of Independent Retailers (the Fed) said that while it backs the government’s proposals to tighten up on vape sales to young people, it warned against an outright ban on disposable vapes.

The Fed’s National President Muntazir Dipoti said: “While we agree with plans to prevent children and young people being attracted to vapes, this must not be at the expense of adults who have switched to these products in a bid to give up smoking.

“We also want more clarity on what any ‘restrictions’ on disposable vapes would entail. An outright ban on these products would simply create a black market and fuel illicit sales by criminals and unscrupulous traders.


“Vapes help many people give up smoking and are part of life now. I am confident the existing black market will become even more active,” he added.

The government of New Zealand recently scrapped a similar policy, which would have meant children aged 14 and under in the country would never be able to legally buy cigarettes. The country’s new prime minister, Chris Luxon had argued against the ban, saying it would only force people to buy tobacco illegally.

These concerns are also forming the response to the proposed UK ban, with new figures from HMRC estimating that since 2018, £9.3 billion in tax revenue has been lost due to illegal tobacco.

Leading international tobacco and vaping company, JTI is calling on all retailers here to respond to the consultation, stating that a phased generational ban is “deeply impractical and unworkable”.

“It will reach a point where you and your staff will be expected to distinguish between 36-year-olds and 37-year-olds when deciding to whom to sell tobacco products,” said a spokesperson for JTI.

“Just as retailers are working to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic and support their communities through the cost-of-living crisis, the burden of implementing a generational ban will fall almost entirely on the shoulders of retailers, just as it threatens to criminalise them for selling tobacco products to adults.

“The additional pressure this unworkable proposal would put upon a sector already characterised by long hours, and weekend and holiday working, as well as blighted by high and rising levels of abuse and theft, is a slap in the face for these small- and medium-sized businesses which operate at the very heart of their local communities.”

Echoing these sentiments, a spokesperson for ELFBAR said the company would be making their views on licensing known to the government.

“We believe that the governments across the UK should move forward with introducing a full licensing regime for vaping – and that crafting a framework akin to the one for alcohol is the right course of action,” said the spokesperson.

“We also believe that the introduction of such a regime would help reduce the potential of children getting access to vapes and make it easier for the authorities to better police the sale of vaping products.

“Furthermore, we believe that it would have benefits in tackling the growing illicit vape market and help with the driving increased rates of vape recycling.”

Retailers are listed as one of the groups from whom the government wants to hear in the consultation before Wednesday 6th December, visit