An operation by Trading Standards during the first quarter of 2016 revealed that almost 40% of targeted vendors sold electronic cigarettes to under 18’s.
246 out of 634 retailers between January and March 2016 sold vaping devices and e-liquid to children aged between 14 and 17. These results were ‘disappointingly low’ according to the report, with most of the illegal sales being made at markets and car boot sales.
Although most of the sales to children were made at none reputable retailers, a high number were also reported at discount stores and specialist vaping stores.
The fewest sales made to children were at petrol station kiosks and convenience stores, as these are already experienced in the sale of restricted products and challenging people for proof of age.
Chief Scientific Officer Tom Pruen said: While e-cigs offer the potential to save many lives by reducing the harm caused by smoking, it is important that they do not form a gateway into nicotine addiction for people, especially teenagers, who do not already use nicotine.
Fortunately, while teenagers appear to be experimenting with vaping, this does not seem to be transferring into regular use, unlike with smoking.
However, this is a genuine concern and one which requires careful monitoring, and responsible action from the industry at all levels.
TECC has always enforced a strict over 18’s policy, it was officially made law in October 2015, it seems that major retailers of e-cigarettes are taking this extremely seriously.
The British Retail Consortium said: The sale of e-cigarettes and vaping liquids is regulated by law and is subject to the same levels of control as tobacco products.
Every major retailer has rigorous policies and training practices, including awareness campaigns and till prompts, to ensure that the sale of such products is in full compliance with the law.
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