ACS calls for balanced approach to vaping products regulation

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The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has raised concerns about proposals from the Scottish government to tighten the rules on the advertising and promotion of vaping products, including restrictions on in-store displays.

The Scottish government is consulting on new regulations on the advertising and promotion of vaping products to ensure they are only used as an aid to stop smoking and prevent young people and adult non-smokers from the uptake of these products.

The ACS noted that the consultation proposals would have a direct impact on convenience retailers by introducing restrictions on:

  • in-store promotional displays and through distributing leaflets and flyers
  • advertising on billboards, advertising hoardings and placing adverts on moving video apparatus;
  • distributing free or cut-price samples; and
  • sponsoring an activity, event or person.

In its submission, the ACS said the proposals lacks clarity, and urged the government to provide clearer definitions of in-store promotional displays, leaflets, flyers and moving video apparatuses, if they are to proceed with new regulations.

“We do not support proposals to ban in-store displays or use of leaflets and flyers that promote e-cigarettes. These types of interventions have a disproportionate impact on local shops that have limited space to display products meaning they would incur significant financial cost to refit stores,” James Lowman, ACS chief executive, said.

“Banning in-store promotions and other advertising mechanisms would also reduce access to vaping products, which are a growing category for retailers and are widely considered to be an important smoking cessation tool. The Scottish Government should instead focusing resource on enforcement activity to remove illegal e-cigarette products from the market.”