Nearly nine out of 10 British vape shops are violating an industry code of conduct by agreeing to sell electronic cigarettes to non-smokers, according to a story by Katie Forster for the Independent, citing an undercover investigation.
About 1,700 specialist shops in England, Scotland and Wales are advised by the Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA) to ‘never knowingly sell to anyone who is not a current or former smoker, or a current vaper’. The guidelines aim to stop non-smokers from becoming addicted to nicotine.
Nevertheless, staff at 87 percent of vape shops are either knowingly or unwittingly prepared to sell electronic cigarettes to people who have never smoked or vaped before, according to the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH).
Forster said that the organisation had visited 100 vape shops in February and found 45 percent did not check whether customers smoked or used to smoke.
And in cases where the staff did check, customers were encouraged to start vaping even if they declared that they were non-smokers.
Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the RSPH, said electronic cigarettes had to be seen as “evidence-based quitting aids – rather than lifestyle products”. They should be aimed only at smokers.