Stores welcome vape age-check initiative

Product compliance is a priority for store owners following the Elfbar scandal in February

Online vape sales soar amid specialist store closures

Retailers have welcomed an initiative by the Fed helping to educate them on selling vapes responsibly.

The trade body has teamed up with tobacco companies British American Tobacco (BAT), Japan Tobacco International (JTI) and Imperial Tobacco to produce posters to display in stores stating that retailers must be vigilant around age verification to prove customers are over 18.

The information campaign aims to ensure retailers act responsibly, but has also been launched in response to concerns that rogue shop owners are selling vape products to minors.

Fed national president Jason Birks said: “Our members are responsible retailers who abide by the law governing sales of any age-restricted products. By displaying these posters prominently in store, you are sending a clear message that you will not sell vaping products to under-18s.”

Currently, the maximum penalty for selling to under-18s is a fine of up to £2,500 and licence removal. Shop owners, as well as staff members selling products, can be held responsible for illegal sales.

Fed deputy vice-president Mo Razzaq urged stores to educate themselves as much as possible about vaping laws as trading standards ramps up enforcement in light of the recent Elfbar scandal.

“This is a great, proactive initiative by the Fed to inform its members so they can stay within the law,” he said. “In my view, the government has been behind the curve when it comes to issuing clear information about the category.”

JTI’s fiscal and regulatory affairs manager, Ian Howell, added: “The Fed’s posters provide retailers with an additional way of preventing underage sales of vaping products, and complement the ‘No ID, no sale’ campaign, which reminds shop staff and customers that valid proof-of-age is required when buying tobacco, vaping and other age-restricted products.”

Imperial’s head of corporate and legal affairs, Lindsay Mennell Keating, explained: “We are proud to support this initiative from the Fed, which will help retailers understand their role and ensure they remain compliant with the age-of-sale laws.”

Product compliance is a priority for store owners, following the Elfbar scandal in February, when an investigation by the Daily Mail uncovered that lines tested had at least 50% more e-liquid than the legal limit.

A month later, BAT testing data, leaked to Better Retailing, claimed that many rival lines not produced by major tobacco manufacturers contained illegal levels of e-liquid by failing to comply with the 2ml e-liquid limit. The claims are contested by distributors and vaping companies.

“Retailers are under cost pressures with a rising minimum wage plus energy bills, and vaping has filled that gap.

“I fear this will give ammunition to bodies who want to ban disposable vapes,” said Razzaq.

Order your copy of Vape Retailer today, the leading vape magazine for the convenience sector. Click here for vape product news and category advice.


This article doesn't have any comments yet, be the first!

Become a member to have your say