In creating a mountain out of a molehill, the Daily Mail refers to the items as “addictive vaping products”. Worse, the vape products are being stored on “open shelves” instead of being kept behind the tobacco kiosk counter.
For those of an easily agitated disposition, the paper warns its readers that this means “e-cigarettes and vaping liquid … could be … more accessible to youngsters”. The article failed to warn parents that other shelves in Sainsbury’s might contain other dangerous items such as bleach, knives, and Prawn Cocktail crisps.
It claims the supermarket chain is “is under fire for stocking addictive vaping products on open shelves,” although it wasn’t possible to see who it was under fire from other than the Daily Mail itself.
It did speak to Conservative Bob Blackman MP, the chair of the Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health. He was not impressed with the move, and commented to journalists: “It’s wrong to have them on open shelves. The change could make e-cigarettes and vaping liquid, which contains nicotine, more accessible to youngsters and give the impression vaping was harmless.”
Bizarrely, Blackman reportedly added: “We don’t know enough about the long-term effects of electronic cigarette use. There may well be dangerous chemicals in the e-liquid.”
As Blackman already knows, vaping products are solely for smokers and ex-smokers as a means to escape combustible tobacco products. Blackman also appreciates that children can’t purchase vape products and that juice is provided in bottles with childproof caps.
Far be it for POTV to suggest that the Mail has invented or distorted the quote from Bob Blackman, but it is exceptionally out of character for him to not recognise that vaping products belong precisely where Sainsbury’s has located them: next to the tobacco harm reduction products.
A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s slapped down the Mail, by saying: “Vaping products are for smokers looking for an alternative to cigarettes. A natural home for them is next to smoking cessation products.”