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Fed member Hitesh Pandya, of Toni’s News, in Ramsgate, appeared on BBC Radio Kent the day after the government announced it intends to introduce an outright ban on disposable vapes.

Mr Pandya, who has been in business for 42 years, was invited to give his thoughts about the proposed ban from a retailer’s point of view.

He highlighted the high probability of illicit traders benefitting from the ban at the expense of responsible store owners.

He said: “Every time there has been a major change in the law regarding tobacco and smoking products, the illicit trade is two steps ahead.”

The BBC broadcast revealed that more than half a million illegal vapes, most of which are made in China, had been seized at Kent ports in the last year alone.

Mr Pandya added: “Responsible retailers like ourselves will get hit on the head by this ban. The police, trading standards and customs need to take more action to enforce the law.”

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