Dunne: Illicit Vapes a Big Problem in U.K.

    John Dunne (Photo: UKVIA)

    Up to 60 percent of disposable vapor products sold in the U.K. are illicit, according to the U.K. Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA).

    Speaking to the U.K. trade publication Convenience Store, UKVIA Director General John Dunne estimated that between 40 percent and 60 percent of disposable vapes currently on sale in the country were either noncompliant with domestic laws or counterfeit.

    “Based on the amount of [illicit] products I see in the marketplace, the number of reports of illicit sales and what’s being reported to trading standards, I believe it’s that big and a huge concern,” he explained. “I probably receive between 200 [reports] and 400 reports of illegal sellers in the U.K. every month.”

    Dunne warned that noncompliance among retailers could destroy a category with huge potential. “This is a market that has huge growth potential for retailers, if it’s allowed [to] grow in a responsible manner, but having a short-term view and ignoring compliance is going to have a detrimental effect. And potentially lead to things like the category being banned, flavor bans or plain packaging.”

    He also called for more action on retailers found to be selling vaping products to those under the age of 18.