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ACS Issues Ecig Advice

The Association of Convenience Stores has issued its Assured Advice guide on the retailing of electronic cigarettes, aimed at assisting retailers navigate potential hurdles to successful sales

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The Association of Convenience Stores has issued its Assured Advice guide on the retailing of electronic cigarettes, aimed at assisting retailers navigate potential hurdles to successful sales. The advice is very timely now that Elf Bar products have been withdrawn from sale by many supermarkets due to the products not conforming to MHRA rules on product standards.

Elf Bar Withdrawal

The Association of Convenience Stores says: “You may have seen in recent days that some Elf Bar vaping products have been found to be in contravention of MHRA rules on product standards. The products in question are all flavours of the Elf Bar 600 disposable vape.

We have taken advice from Bucks & Surrey Trading Standards and we are issuing the following guidance:

  • as of 9.2.23, there has been no legal recall or withdrawal notice issued in relation to these products
  • Elf Bar accept that these products are in breach of MHRA standards and have agreed to withdraw affected product lines
  • retailers cannot sell products in breach of these standards, so as it is clear that these products are in breach, they should not be sold
  • we are advising retailers to check all products against our Selling Vapes Responsibly guide.”

The Guide issued by the Association of Convenience Stores, called Selling Vapes Responsibly, offers retailers advice on how to tell legitimate from illegitimate products. It also advises on how to implement age verification policies to protect themselves and the public, ensuring products are sold legally.

The Association of Convenience Stores tells retailers they should:

  • Check the number of puffs disposable devices claim they deliver.
  • Check the on-pack warning labels.
  • Check the wording the on-pack warning labels.

The Association directs retailers to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) website, where they can check to see if a product has been legally registered for sale in the United Kingdom. Searches can be conducted by product type, brand and product name.

“Any retailer who sells an e-cigarette to someone under the age of 18 is committing an offence,” the Association reminds retailers, recommending that they implement a Challenge 25 policy.

All staff serving customers 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,” it says.

The Guide can be accessed from the link below.


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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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