A VAPING shop boss is frustrated with the government's plans to ban disposal vapes as he believes it could reverse the country's progress on smoking reduction.

The Government announced earlier this year that it will ban all disposable vape products and restrict flavours targeted at children.

This ban, which could be introduced later this year, seeks to crack down on the rising number of young people taking up vaping.

Figures from the Action on Smoking and Health charity suggest 7.6 per cent of 11 to 17-year-olds now vape regularly or occasionally, up from 4.1 per cent in 2020.

Evapo, in Blue Boar Row, aims to convert every smoker into a vaper and CEO Andrej Kuttruf believes "excessive" restrictions could have damning consequences on public health.

Salisbury Journal: Andrej Kuttruf.Andrej Kuttruf. (Image: Evapo)

He argues that implementing a sensible, evidence-based licensing regime, similar to the regulations governing alcohol sales in the UK, is the most effective way to safeguard children, assist smokers in quitting, and combat the illicit sale of vapes to minors.

“Countries like Australia that have introduced vaping bans have denied smokers access to vital alternatives and only benefited criminals by creating massive black markets where 90 per cent of vapes are then bought and sold," he said.

He suggested the ban has pushed millions of former smokers back into their habit, hurting public health services and undermining years of progress helping smokers to quit.

Banning disposables would serve criminals part of the regulated nicotine market 'on a silver platter'

Mr Kuttruf said: “Excessive restrictions on vaping through banning disposables and restricting flavours could undermine and reverse the UK’s world-leading progress on smoking reduction, which has seen the UK achieve the fastest declines in smoking rates in Europe over the last decade.

"The proposed ban and restrictions will only serve to hand a big part of the regulated nicotine market to criminals on a silver platter."

The Journal previously conducted an investigation into some of the new vape shops that have popped up around Salisbury.

Salisbury Journal: Our reporter bought these illicit vapes from shops in Salisbury.Our reporter bought these illicit vapes from shops in Salisbury. (Image: Newsquest)

Our reporter was able to buy illicit disposable vapes, some of which were 10 times the legal size, and the shops did not ask him for identification.

The investigation resulted in two shops being raided by Trading Standards and more than 1,000 illicit products were seized.

Read more about our exclusive investigation here: Illegal vapes seized from Salisbury shops in Trading Standards raid