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CTSI Calls For Tougher Regs

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has issued a call for the United Kingdom to adopt tougher regulations governing the sale of electronic cigarettes and related vaping products

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The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has issued a call for the United Kingdom to adopt tougher regulations governing the sale of electronic cigarettes and related vaping products. The body believes that retailers should be forced to remove products from the view and reach of young people, given they are banned from making purchases anyway.

At present, the law forbids retailers from selling vapes to people under the age of 18, but there are no restrictions on the placement or display of vapes and vaping products within retail premises,” says the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

It is recommended that retailers keep vapes out of the reach of children, but currently there is no legal requirement for them to do so.”

The CTSI acknowledges that vaping poses far less risk than smoking tobacco – “which remains the single biggest cause of preventable illness and death in the UK”. It also recognises that the use of vapes “can be an effective means of helping smokers to quit”.

But, “there is a need for better regulation to ensure that vapes do not get into the hands of children and create nicotine dependence in a new generation.”

The CTSI said it is supportive of measures which would minimise the appeal of vapes to people under the age of sale which is why it is supporting the call from the Local Government Association to relocate all vape products to behind sales counters.

The CTSI states: “Trading Standards services across the UK have been inundated with examples of illicit vapes and underage vape sales, with 60% of CTSI members saying high street shops selling illicit vapes or vaping products to children was the enforcement issue that most concerned them. Recent Trading Standards figures revealed a rise in sales of vaping products to children.”

Given that the problem is of irresponsible retailers selling to underage customers, it isn’t clear how changing where this stock is kept in a store will improve the situation.

Veronica McGinley, CTSI lead officer for age-restricted sales, said: “The current regime of unrestricted displays and flavours has led to bright, colourful and attractive displays of products which are clearly aimed at the youth market and advertised as a desirable lifestyle product rather than a smoking cessation aid.

“Couple this with the explosion onto the market of single-use vapes which are cheap and easy to use, and we have created the perfect storm, leading to Trading Standards Officers across the country fielding complaints from parents about children as young as 13 accessing vapes.

“Whilst vapes can be a valuable tool in smoking cessation it was never intended that they be marketed as a lifestyle product and attract a whole new generation of young people who have never smoked. These products, whilst safer than traditional tobacco products, are not without risk. They can lead to nicotine dependence and their long-term effects are as yet unknown.

“More than 10 years ago a successful ban on the display of tobacco products was implemented to protect children and allow a tobacco-free generation to grow up. The current displays of vapes are reminiscent of what we had for tobacco before the ban and will, if left uncontrolled, lead to a whole new generation addicted to nicotine.”

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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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