Waitrose bans sales of single-use vaping products

Waitrose has banned the sale of single-use vaping products in its stores over their negative impact on the environment and the health of young people.

The supermarket said the popularity of products such as e-cigarettes has soared over the past year, with vaping in Great Britain reaching record levels of around 4.3 million people, a report by smoking authority Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) found.

As a result, the company has removed two types of e-cigarette from sale.

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Figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed last month that the proportion of tobacco smokers in the UK had fallen to the lowest level on record in 2021.

The ONS said vaping devices such as e-cigarettes had played a major role in reducing the prevalence of tobacco smoking across the UK.

Vaping is considered to be less harmful than smoking, but action is needed to tackle the sharp rise in e-cigarette use among children.

Despite it being illegal to sell the devices to under-18s, research indicates a rise in underage vaping in the last five years, with 16- to 18-year-olds who say they use e-cigarettes doubling in the past 12 months, according to Ash.

“Our move comes as reports suggest that the market growth is being fuelled by the popularity among those who haven’t previously smoked,” it said.

“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,” Waitrose commercial director, Charlotte Di Cello, said.

“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,” she added.



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