Vendor Guide from the ACS

Posted 7th February 2022 by Dave Cross
The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has released a help guide to aid vendors selling vape products. It sets out an understandable guide to the laws and regulations governing the sale and supply of e-cigs and e-liquid and promotes the use of Challenge 25 to ensure age restriction compliance.

The ACS says it is “the voice of over 33,500 local shops”. It provides information and advice on legal matters to support them and provides a range of materials. It also campaigns on issues and lobbies government, seeking to influence laws and regulations.

The new guide, “covers the regulations that govern the sale and supply of e-cigarettes, retailers’ responsibilities when selling these products, how to ensure packaging and labelling are compliant with the regulations, and advice on how to make sure underage sales do not take place.”

The guide advises businesses that, currently, “The European Union Tobacco Products Directive ‘TPD’ is the framework that sets minimum regulatory standards and processes for tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and herbal products for smoking in the European Union. The Directive was implemented into UK law through the Tobacco and Related Product Regulations 2016 (TRPR). In the UK, e-cigarettes are tightly regulated for safety and quality. Vapour products in the UK need to be notified to the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency). MHRA requires all e-cigarette manufacturers to submit data to evaluate the potential health impact of a product, as well as information about how it was manufactured.

The Tobacco and Related Product Regulations was set to be updated before the end of 2021 but has been subjected to repeated delays.

It reminds business managers that:

The Electronic Cigarette Company
  • E-cigarettes charged from the mains must feature a CE or UKCA mark
  • Challenge25 policy is recommended for the sale of e-cigarettes
  • This guide includes detail on nicotine content and health warnings

Vape devices and liquids are age-restricted products, the minimum age to purchase is 18.

Any retailer who sells an e-cigarette to someone under the age of 18 is committing an offence, and both the business owner and staff members who made the sale can be penalised. ACS recommends the use of Challenge 25 policies for all underage sales.”

The ACS explains that Challenge 25 is a store policy based on two simple principles. Firstly, all customer-facing staff should be trained to “think 25”. “This means if a customer is seeking to buy an age restricted product (of any kind), the staff member should ask themselves the question – ‘does the person in front of me look like they might be under the age of 25 years?’ If the answer is yes, then they should ask the person for a valid proof of age. If the identification confirms they are over the legal age of purchase for that product, then it can be sold to them.” Secondly, this should be supported with in-store signs.

The full guide can be downloaded from the link below.

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 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, motorbikes, and dog walker
Legion of Vapers