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Waitrose Ditches the Disposables

Upmarket supermarket brand Waitrose has delisted disposable vape products from its stores for 2023

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Upmarket supermarket brand Waitrose has delisted disposable vape products from its stores for 2023 as part of its mission to “do the right thing”. Waitrose had a miserable time in 2022, recording a £99 million loss in the first six months and reported a 5% drop in sales revenue during the third quarter in September.

Disposables continued to dominate the e-cigarette retail sector during 2022 but criticism grew on two fronts. Firstly, Action on Smoking and Health and Cancer Research UK reported that young people who were non-smokers were increasingly using them, and many were pointing to littering and sustainability issues from poorly discarded used devices as well.

Waving the ‘think of the children’ flag, Waitrose bosses have taken the decision to delist all single-use disposable ecigs from stores with immediate effect. The reasons it has cited include both protecting the “health of young people” and the impact disposables have on the environment – notably the addition of lithium from the sealed batteries into landfills.

Ten Motives and one other brand is impacted by the action although figures are not available to say what volumes these products were being sold in previously.

A statement from Waitrose is quoted as saying: “Our move comes as reports suggest that the market growth is being fuelled by the popularity among those who haven’t previously smoked.”

Charlotte Di Cello, the commercial director for the company is quoted as saying: “We are a retailer driven by doing the right thing, so selling single use vapes is not something we could justify given the impact on both the environment and the health of young people. We had already decided it wasn’t right to stock the fashionable bright-coloured devices which are seeing rapid growth, so this decision is the final jigsaw piece in our clear decision not to be part of the single-use vaping market.”

The tobacco harm reduction product range now stocked by Waitrose compromises of:

  • Heets: Amber, Yellow, Blue, Green, Mauve, Turquoise and Sienna
  • Juul2 Starter kits
  • Juul2 pods: Ruby Menthol, Virginia Tobacco, Summer Menthol, Golden Tobacco, Crisp Mint, Crisp Menthol, Polar Menthol, Mango Nectar, Menthol, Glacier Mint and Alpine Berry
  • Vuse e-liquid in Blended Tobacco and Crisp Mint
  • Vuse ePods in Chilled Mint
  • ZYN tobacco-free pouches: Ice Mint Strong and Cool Mint
  • Nordic Spirit pouches: Wildberry X Strong, Mocha Strong, Mint in 12, 9 and 6mg
  • Velo pouches: Ice Cool Patches and Freeze Patches
  • Vampire Vape e-liquid: Pinkman 12mg, Black Jack 6mg, Heisenberg 12mg and Ice Menthol 6mg
  • MyBlu pods in Intense Tobacco

The National Institute for Health and Care Research reported that the evidence supports vaping being more effective than nicotine patches at helping smokers to quit and remain smoke-free.

Data release by the Office for National Statistics in 2022 showed that vaping has helped to drive adult smoking to a record low in the United Kingdom.

Tobacco retailers called on the government to take action through the long-delayed publication of its promised Tobacco Control Plan.

A survey of the retailers showed:

  • 73% support a requirement for tobacco manufacturers to pay a fee to Government for measures to help smokers quit and prevent young people from taking up smoking. (10% oppose)
  • 54% support raising the age of sale for cigarettes from 18 to 21 years (27% oppose)
  • 81% of local retailers in England support the introduction of a mandatory retail licence in order to sell tobacco (9% oppose)
  • 83% support mandatory age verification for anyone under 25 (5% oppose)

Photo Credit:

  • Waitrose logo incorporated into banner image under Fair Use

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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