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Banning disposable vapes will fuel illicit sales and will not achieve its aims of reducing littering and reducing their appeal to children, independent retailers have warned.

The Local Government Association, which represents local authorities in England and Wales, is calling for the government to ban the manufacture of e-cigarettes by 2024.

The association said 1.3 million vapes were thrown away every week, with many ending up as litter on the streets.

Responding to the calls, Federation of Independent Retailers (the Fed) National President Muntazir Dipoti said: “A ban on single use vapes may, at first, seem like a straightforward, effective way of addressing underage vaping and litter.

“However, like the anti-smoking organisation ASH, we believe a ban would risk ‘turbo-charging’ an already booming illicit market.”

And he added: “Vapes help many give up smoking and are part of life now. If we ban them the black market will become even more active. History suggests it would be optimistic in the extreme to think that prohibition stops people getting hold of products.”

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