Brick and mortar stores biggest culprit of underage vape sales

The vast majority of children and young people illegally buying disposable vapes are doing so in physical stores rather than online.

That’s according to research carried out by age verification provider, 1account, which is calling on the government to focus on the high street when it comes to combatting underage vape sales. 

A recent report underlined that a rising numbers of children and young people were purchasing vape goods, especially disposable devices. 

1account has now revealed the results of a disposable vape market test conducted in partnership with it found that, of the total number of consumers who failed to verify their age online prior to purchase, 70% were attempting to purchase disposable vapes exclusively, while of those who passed online age verification, only 40% bought disposables.  

In contrast, a report by ASH revealed sales of vapes to under 18-year-olds were as high as 46.5% in high street stores compared to just 10% online. 

Ben Keirle, founder and chief executive officer at 1account, said this highlights that the main problem lies with physical stores.  

“The ASH statistics confirm what we already suspected that disposables are increasingly popular among young people,” he said. “However, our own figures prove the efficacy of online age verification in preventing against these products falling into the wrong hands as every sale goes through a robust age verification process.  

“The 10% of minors managing to buy online are almost certainly buying from sites who do not have age verification implemented and, from what we’ve seen, it is those sites that have a higher propensity to also sell illegal capacity disposable vapes.” 

The results of 1account’s market test follows an independent review into tobacco control, commonly referred to as Khan Review. Commissioned by the government to help shape its Smokefree 2030 strategy, the review highlights the contribution vaping can make to achieve this. 

However, the report also highlights increasing concerns around child access to vaping, recommending more research should be commissioned into how young people access vaping products online.

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