Children and young people illegally buying disposable vapes are more likely to do so in physical bricks and mortar stores rather than online, according to age verification solution provider 1account.

A recent report by ASH revealed sales of vapes to under 18-year-olds were as high as 46.5% in high street stores compared to just 10% online.

1account conducted a disposable vape market test, in partnership with online vape retailer,, and found that, of the total number of consumers who failed to verify their age online prior to purchase, 70% were attempting to purchase disposable vapes exclusively, while of those who passed online age verification, only 40% bought disposables.

Ben Keirle, founder and CEO of 1account, said the main problem lies with physical stores.

“Our own insights, backed up by the ASH study, suggest that preventing the sale of age-restricted products over the counter (OTC) in physical retail outlets is the biggest issue which, if dealt with, would see far fewer minors purchasing vape products altogether and this is where the government needs to focus its attention.

“The ASH statistics confirm what we already suspected that disposables are increasingly popular among young people,” he said. “However, our own figures prove the efficacy of online age verification in preventing against these products falling into the wrong hands as every sale goes through a robust age verification process.

“The 10% of minors managing to buy online are almost certainly buying from sites who do not have age verification implemented and, from what we’ve seen, it is those sites that have a higher propensity to also sell illegal capacity disposable vapes.”

This comes after the Khan Review highlighted increasing concerns around child access to vaping and recommended that more research should be commissioned into how young people access vaping products online, going as far as saying that a ban on online vape sales should be considered in the future.

Keirle, who is also a member of the Youth Access Prevention Committee run by the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA), added: “From our standpoint, the vape industry’s adoption of online age verification is comparable to the gambling industry which has 100% of licensed operators using verification.

“Our platform alone is used by around 40% of the UK online vape retailers and the vaping trade bodies, including the IBVTA and UKVIA, both mandate that age verification by vape retailers is a condition of membership. Compared to the alcohol sector where online verification at the point of sale is still very much in its infancy, the vape industry is a good example of responsible retailing when it comes to e-commerce operations.”