Responsible vape retailing

JTI calls for action and offers guidance

JTI has called for the government to do more to keep vapes away from children.

JTI has been taking steps to keep disposable vapes out of the hands of children and the firm is calling on retailers to play their part.

Ian Howell, fiscal regulatory affairs manager at JTI UK said that underage access to vape products is a “growing issue” that must be combated.

JTI has been calling on the government to impose stricter regulations to prevent the sale of vape products to minors and to better restrict their access to nicotine products.

Howell added that JTI has also voiced concerns over packaging and branding, warning that noncompliant vape stock poses an additional risk to underage consumers.

“We’re concerned about the use of inappropriate naming and packaging on some items that could potentially appeal to children, including cartoon imagery or imitations of well-known confectionery and soft-drink brands.

“Worse still, many of these products do not meet regulations, exceeding nicotine limits and containing banned chemicals.

“One recent study found 25 out of 28 disposable vapes tested on the market were not compliant. The UK Vaping Industry Association is reported to have said that up to 60% of the disposable vape products on sale are non-compliant,” he said.

Retailers who wish to play their part in tackling sales to underage customers – and stamp out noncompliant stock – can do so by taking a few simple steps, Howell said.

JTI recommends that retailers take a cautious approach to ID checks and ensure that all staff members are aware of store policy.

Howell said: “It’s always better to check. If the customer doesn’t have their driving licence or passport, look for the PASS hologram on any proof-of-age presented. Make sure you check the ID carefully, look for tampering and check the date.

“It’s useful to have a note on your till of the year of birth for today’s 18-year-olds.”

JTI also recommends that retailers keep a refusal register, which Howell said retailers should regularly check to ensure compliance.

“Record everyone who fails to produce valid ID when asked. Regularly check the record to see if any of your staff aren’t making any refusals – they may need additional training,” he said.

Two other ways of ensuring compliance are to avoid stocking products that Howell described as having “irresponsible youth appeal,” and only purchasing stock from reputable suppliers.

“With many products not meeting regulation, it’s important to be careful about where your stock comes from,” he said.