Two-thirds of UK vape stores are ‘at risk’ of selling to minors, according to test purchasing results organised by JTI.
JTI worked with Age Check Certification Services Ltd (ACCS) to expand its youth access prevention scheme IDentify to check compliance in the independent vape channel.
Test purchasing took place in Cardiff, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and the West Midlands, with retailers checked on whether they were following Challenge 25 best practice.
Test purchasers visited 344 stores of which 234 were subsequently received compliance advice and support. Of the areas visited, Cardiff had the highest levels of compliance with 67% of stores correctly challenging for proof of age. However, in London compliance rates dropped to 19% of stores that followed Challenge 25 best practice.
In those stores found to be ’at risk’ of selling to minors, training was offered on behalf of JTI. The free-of-charge professional training is provided by fully qualified ACCS Trading Standards professionals and is designed to help the retailer comply with all relevant legislation and maintain their status as a responsible retailer.
Charlie Cunningham-Reid, JTI’s UK corporate affairs & communications vice president, said: “Our IDentify scheme aims to tackle the problem of underage sales by providing training and support for retailers; in particular to smaller, independent retailers who often don’t have the resources to provide the same level of staff training that larger stores do.
“There can be no excuses when it comes to underage sales, but we recognise that retailers’ jobs aren’t easy. This programme demonstrates JTI’s continued commitment to supporting retailers and preventing minors from having access to vaping products.”