Government proposal to ban retailers from selling e-cigarettes to under 18s is welcomed by the e-cig industry and the ACS.

The Department of Health launched a consultation this week banning the sale of e-cigarettes to children.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “E-cigarettes are a growing product category in convenience stores, providing a viable alternative to smoking for thousands of people”.

“The vast majority of our members already have a voluntary age restriction on these products in place, but this consultation will provide important clarity for all responsible retailers who sell these products and ensure that they have the support of legislation.”

E-cigarette manufacturer, Vype, said it was pleased the Government had “finally acknowledged what many in the industry are already practising”.

A spokesperson for Vype, said: “We support appropriate regulation and welcome the Government’s proposal to restrict sales of e-cigarettes to those aged over 18. Like many others in the category, our e-cigarette products and marketing materials already contain clear over18 statements.”

ACS chief executive James Lowman added: “E-cigarettes are a growing product category in convenience stores, providing a viable alternative to smoking for thousands of people”.

“The vast majority of our members already have a voluntary age restriction on these products in place, but this consultation will provide important clarity for all responsible retailers who sell these products and ensure that they have the support of legislation.”

The regulations will apply to ‘nicotine inhaling products’, therefore covering all e-cigarette devices, regardless of appearance, their refills and any liquids that may be sold separately to the device.

Anyone found guilty of selling these products to minors will receive a fine up to £2,500 and consistent offenders will be prohibited of selling the products for up to one year. It will also be an offence for an adult customer to buy the product on behalf of a child.

The policy enforces that many retailers are already voluntarily restricting sales to children, and retailers have called for a minimum age to be placed. The regulations also say that they are attempting to support retailers by ensuring a consistency of requirements that are the same as tobacco and alcohol.

e-cigarette

According to the proposed regulations the Government are concerned that 66% of British children are aware of e-cigarettes and are attracted to the variety of flavours available, resulting in addiction and damage to health.

Public Health Minister Jane Ellison said: “We want to protect children from the harmful effects of nicotine addiction and most e-cigarettes contain nicotine. There’s a risk that e-cigarettes could be appealing to children as use and awareness of these products increases.”