Trading Standards officers in Scotland testing sellers of tobacco and nicotine vaping products (vapes) has found that one in eight premises visited sold cigarettes, and one in five sold vapes to an under 18 volunteer last year.
The Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS) said these are significantly worse results than expected and may in large part be caused by the child appealing nature of, single use vapes, and their wide availability in shops and service premises.
Last year, officers carried out test purchase operations at 312 premises across Scotland with 63 failures for vapes, and 268 attempted test purchases of tobacco with 33 failures.
“The health of young people is a key priority for Trading Standards and smoking is the greatest threat to their health and development, especially for younger children. These results are very concerning and we will be stepping up efforts this year to support sellers with advice, and continue to take enforcement action where sellers break the law,” David MacKenzie, chair of SCOTSS, commented.
“NVPs can be a useful cessation aid for smokers who want to give up smoking, but they are not intended as a lifestyle product for young people. The bright packaging colours and sugary and fruity flavours are child appealing, and the easy availability of single use vapes in particular is not helpful. We would like to see the same display rules applied to NVPs that is applied to tobacco, i.e. they are kept out of sight in store.”