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Pharmacies still selling e-cigarettes to children

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Pharmacies still selling e-cigarettes to children

More than half of independent pharmacies have been caught selling e-cigarettes to children in a Trading Standards investigation.

Independent pharmacies were second only to market stalls and car boot sales among retail outlets allowing sales, mainly of vaping liquids. While 53 per cent of independent pharmacies allowed sales, 68 per cent of markets and car boot sales, 43 per cent of national pharmacy chains, and only 20 per cent of national newsagent chains, did so.

On average, 40 per cent of the 634 retailers visited between January and March this year sold e-cigarette products to children aged 14-17 in the first national test purchase operation since the practice was banned.

The tests were carried out by English trading standards services, supported by the Department of Health and managed by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI). Their report said: “Compliance with the age-of-sale aspect of these regulations was found to be disappointingly low.”

Leon Livermore, CTSI chief executive, said: “Regular use among children is relatively rare but children’s awareness of, and experimentation with electronic cigarettes, is increasing." 

Nicola Blackwood, public health minister, said: "There was strong support for this measure from businesses when they were consulted and so, as the school holidays are upon us, this is a timely reminder of their obligations under these regulations not to sell nicotine products to under 18-year-olds. We will continue to work with trade associations and trading standards to provide practical advice to businesses of all sizes and to promote compliance amongst the wider retail community.”



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