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‘Pharmacy-only sales of vape is not a solution to curb rising underage sales’

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Restricting sales of vape products to pharmacies is not a solution to curb illegal sales of vape among underage adults, said UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA). 

In an oral evidence at the House of Commons on ‘Youth Vaping’ called by the Health and Social Care Select Committee (HSSC) to figure out action needed to reduce vaping among those under 18.

Rachael Maskell, York Central MP’s suggested on vape products being available from licensed pharmacies. 

Marcus Saxton, Chairman, Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA) said: “We are calling for further regulation to tighten up what has now been an extreme growth in single-use products. If you put them into those environments, as New Zealand and Australia are telling us, the perception of the public is that, while they can buy tobacco freely anywhere, the vaping product that is up to 95% safer is licensed through a pharmacy. It makes absolutely no sense. The negative consequence of considering such a thing will take us backwards years.”

John Dunne, Director General, UK Vaping Industry Association, told Pharmacy Business: “There is a far simpler solution to restrict youth access to vapes and that is enforcing the existing law properly and penalising the rogue retailers who break it by selling to under-18s.

“We have been calling on the government for some time now to increase fines for these retailers and for those repeat offenders to lose the right to sell vapes altogether. 

“Restricting sales to pharmacies is not the solution, as vapes need to be sold where cigarettes are sold, to effectively reach the target market of smokers who are yet to quit.”

We need to protect our children, but today 200 people in the UK alone will die from smoking. Vapes offer smokers the best opportunity to stop and by restricting adult access we will be failing those smokers and failing our society.”

HSSC Chair questioned the association, “If you are highly motivated to move off nicotine tobacco products, what would be the problem in going to a pharmacy? There are lots of pharmacies. What would be the problem?”

To which Dunne replied: “ Lots of pharmacies stock vaping products, but I think it is important to make these products available wherever tobacco products are sold. For the most part smokers are not making a conscious decision. They do not walk into a store and go, “Oh, I’m going in there to buy an ecigarette.” It is generally a spontaneous decision in the first place to go, “Do I buy a pack of cigarettes, or do I try something different?” That is why it is very important to have those products available where consumers are buying.”

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