The sale of Disposable Vapes to Children under the age of 18 in convenience stores is a major problem in the United Kingdom and has caused an increase in vaping among minors. The sale of these products, which are available in a variety of flavours, has contributed to a growing number of underage people who are using e-cigarettes, particularly in the age group of 11-18.
For children who have already tried and become hooked on vaping, the sale and availability of disposable vapes in convenience stores and phone shops are at an all-time high. This situation is leading to potential health risks for minors, as many of these products are not fully regulated and contain more than the legal limit of nicotine.
Although disposable vapes tend to be cheaper than devices available in vape shops, the potential consequences of the sale of these products to minors outweigh any economic benefit. The use of e-cigarettes by children has been linked to an increase in cigarette smoking and other nicotine-related health risks. In addition, according to the Royal College of Physicians, vaping exposes people to toxic particles, and the long-term effects of using these products have yet to be determined.
Recent research conducted by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) suggests that the increase in disposable vape sales to minors is contributing to a rise in smoking rates amongst this age group. The findings of the study have shown that in the past year, the number of 11-15-year-olds using e-cigarettes in the UK has more than doubled, with one in seven children in this age group reporting that they have used the products. In addition, the research found that the rate of regular nicotine-using children had risen to 1 in 25 with 11-18 year olds making up the majority of those vaping.
The rise in disposable vape sales to minors indicates that more needs to be done to protect young people from the potential risks associated with e-cigarette use. Convenience stores should be prohibited from selling these products to children, and measures should be taken to educate parents, teachers, and young people on the risks associated with vaping. By taking these steps and increasing the rate of awareness of the issue, the UK could help to reduce the number of underage people who are vaping.
In addition, the UK should consider raising the legal age to 21, as has been done in some US states, to make it more difficult for minors to purchase disposable e-cigarettes. This would help to ensure that young people are not exposed to the products or influenced by peers to begin vaping.
Overall, the sale of disposable vapes to children in convenience stores is a dangerous situation for underage users. In order to reduce the risks associated with vaping amongst minors, it is important that stronger measures are taken to prevent the sale of these products to individuals, and that awareness of the issue is increased.
Here at E-Liquids UK, we hold a strict “No ID, No Sale” protocol in our retail shops and use age verification software on all online purchases to ensure we are not selling to children under the age of 18.