Vape shop sells E-CIGARETTES alongside SWEETS

Vape shop sells E-CIGARETTES alongside SWEETS as worries grow about the vaping epidemic among children as young as eleven

  • Vape industry under fire for calling products names similar to popular sweets

Shoppers told of their outrage after a new shop opened in a busy city shopping centre – selling vapes alongside sweets.

The vape industry has been under-fire for making its products attractive to youngsters, even calling them by names similar to popular sweets, despite the sale being banned to under-18s.

So parents were furious when Vape and Candi World opened on Wednesday in Wolverhampton, opposite another vaping shop called Steam and just yards from two other vape product outlets.

Shoppers at the Wulfrun Centre said they were concerned about the new business and its likely appeal to children.

Tyre fitter Noel Davies, 28, said ‘I don’t think vapes and sweets go together… Loads of school kids come through here on their way from school so are going to try it on and buy a vape on an energy drink with sweets.’

Selling vapes alongside sweets, Vape and Candi World opened on Wednesday opposite another vaping store in the Wulfrun Centre, Wolverhampton

Emma Griffin, a 34-year-old mother-of-two, added: ‘I would expect trading standards to look at the kind of message it sends out to children.

‘However strict the owners are about not selling vapes to youngsters, it’s still stupid to have a candy sign outside with brightly coloured sweets on the shelves.’

An assistant working in Steam said some parents had come into her shop to complain.

‘A couple of mums have come in asking if I knew it was opening because they are disgusted sweets are being sold alongside vapes,’ she said.

On Wednesday a committee of MPs called for heavier restrictions on the packaging and marketing of vapes to ‘tackle and alarming trend’ in the number of children using them.

The Health and Social Care Committee said the Government should consider bringing in plain packaging for e-cigarettes in line with other tobacco products.

It said it believes the messaging around vaping as a tool to help smokers quit can be maintained, but more should be done on education, enforcement and regulations to keep them out of the reach of children.

On one side of the shop are tempting sweets. The shop’s owner said: ‘The sweets are on one side of the shop and the vapes in the other’

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is also said to be ‘upset’ about the child-friendly flavouring and cartoon-style packaging used on some products and has reportedly told aides he is ‘going to do something about it’.

Stuart Anderson, the Conservative MP for Wolverhampton South West whose constituency includes the Wulfrun shopping centre, said he was alarmed at the development.

‘I don’t think we should be doing anything that advertises vaping to children.

‘Putting sweets and vapes together in the same business is certainly not a good idea and not something I would wish to see.’

City councillor Iqra Tahir, whose St Peter’s ward includes the shopping centre, said she would consider raising the new shop at the next council meeting.

She said: ‘This is not a good idea, especially when there are a lot of young children using vapes now because it is a trend and also, I suspect, to relieve boredom.’

Shop owner Manjinder Kaur said she would not be selling vape products to under-18s.

Mrs Kaur said: ‘The sweets are on one side of the shop and the vapes in the other.

‘We don’t sell to kids and need to see photo ID to prove vape customers are over 18.

‘If you close vape shops people will buy online and vapes are better for your health than cigarettes.’

But while the devices are less harmful than cigarettes, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has warned e-cigarettes ‘are not a risk-free product and can be just as addictive, if not more so, than traditional cigarettes’.

Shop owner Manjinder Kaur said: ‘We need to see photo ID to prove vape customers are over 18’

Steve Brine, chairman of the Health and Social Care Committee, said the vaping industry had not done enough to ensure its products ‘don’t appeal to children’.

He added: ‘When you have brightly-coloured and branded vapes with flavours that name unicorns, sweets and popular fizzy drinks…it’s disingenuous for the industry to claim otherwise.

‘Ministers need to focus, across government, on the impact vaping is having in our schools, whether that be setting off smoke alarms in toilets or restricting access to them entirely for young people.’

The British Medical Association passed a motion in July calling for vapes to be sold in plain packaging.

In June, NHS figures revealed 40 children and young people were admitted to hospital in England last year for ‘vaping-related disorders’, up from 11 two years earlier.

The prime minister is said to be taking a close personal interest in a package of restrictions on advertising and flavours currently being drawn up.

Compulsory licensing for retailers selling vapes is also being considered for England, after Scotland introduced a registration scheme to aid the enforcement of rules preventing sales to under-18s.

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