Vape supplier and manufacturer Supreme, which is a master distributor of Elf and Lost Mary vapes, has announced a range of a measures across its own 88Vape range, to mitigate the rise of underage vapers.
The firm has pledged that it will ditch its in-house range of brightly coloured disposables and adopt plain packaging across the whole 88Vape range, which includes vapes and e-liquids. It will also switch to adult-appropriate flavours. For example “Peach Dream” will be become “Peach” and “Sweet Strawberry” will become “Strawberry” to reduce the shelf appeal for underage vapers. Any flavours which are likely to be more appealing to underage vapers will be removed entirely from the range.
The group, which counts Londis, Costcutter and Spar retailers amongst its customers, as well as several supermarkets and variety discounters, claimed that going forward it would only trade with retailers with robust age verification protocols in place and that it would cut ties with those that could not comply.
Supreme also commited to the responsible location of products in store, claiming that its vapes would not be positioned near confectionery.
The company stated that it would continue to cooperate with the government in all its efforts to combat underage vaping and would welcome further legislation of the industry, such as the introduction of licences for vape products, and substantial fines for retailers found to be selling vapes to underage individuals.
Supreme also announced that it would encourage other vape brand owners that it works with to follow suit.
Sandy Chadha, chief executive officer of Supreme, said: “As a business, we are fully committed to eradicating underage vaping so that the industry can get back to its core objective; to support adult smokers to find an affordable, sustainable, safer alternative to smoking. Whilst we believe flavoured vapes are a critical part of many ex-smokers ‘quitting journey’ as they seek to replace that tobacco taste for something more palatable, we are also desperate to ensure that those flavours do not spark any interest in younger people.
“We are fully supportive of any further legislation in the sector and believe it is the right thing to do to begin to transition our business by removing or changing anything from within our product set that could be deemed compromising. As government guidance evolves we may seek to re-assess this approach.
“I would like to go on record to pledge my support to the initiatives currently being recommended to the government by the Vaping Industry Association who argue that licensing the sale of vaping products (similar to alcohol) will directly address the problem such that only reputable and responsible retailers should be permitted to sell vapes in the first place with substantial fines for those that are found to be selling vapes to children.
“Finally, I would also like to highlight the ‘black market’ or illicit vape market to the government as a core source of vapes for young people given their accessibility and the interest generated by these brands on social media. These illicit vaping products which are non-compliant with UK regulations and have larger tank sizes (meaning they last longer), higher nicotine concentrations and can contain banned products. Unless we stand up to this black market (by stricter border-force and increased investment into trading standards) then even the strictest laws governing the legal vape market won’t make a notable change to whether young people choose to vape.”