We have been asked by a number of members to provide clarity to them regarding their obligations and duties regarding Vaping and the sale of vaping products.
Vaping is currently not prohibited in public or workplaces – while smoking tobacco is controlled by legislation (Public Health (Tobacco) Act 2002), no such restriction is in place for vaping. As the owner or occupier of a premises, you are entitled to restrict or prevent people from vaping within the store, but this action is not obliged by law.
At the moment, there is no law preventing a minor (person aged below 18 years) from purchasing, selling, supplying, using or sharing any vaping product. As a retailer, you are not prohibited from showing and selling any vaping product to a minor, but such action is not only a serious dereliction of your ethical duties, it is also one that will most certainly bring you into confrontation with parents, schools, other persons within the community and undoubtedly, the Environmental Health Officers who are obliged to investigate complaints made to them.
Retailers need to ensure that the vaping products they stock are not getting into the hands and lungs of children. The Association believes that many adult users of flavoured vaping products have managed successfully to wean themselves away from the harmful reliance on nicotine delivered through cigarettes; we facilitate this by holding in stock vaping products that are designed to assist smokers working to kick the smoking habit; it is not in our interest, either short-term or long-term, to provide easy access (regardless of the fact that no law is currently being broken) to vaping products that are clearly designed and described in such colours, shape and names that attract the immature eyes and desires of our children.
Please review your stores’ policies in provision and stocking of vaping products – only deal with reputable suppliers and most of all initiate and rigorously pursue an access-prevention policy including demands for photographic ID set at an age you consider sufficiently robust to prevent any sale to children.