Supermarket Criticised for Displaying Vaping Products

In recent years, vape shops have popped up on many high streets around the UK. As more people switch from smoking to vaping with the aim of improving their health, it’s no great surprise to discover other shops getting in on the action too. No doubt you have spotted vaping supplies appearing in your local supermarket, for example.

However, while easier access to these vaping kits and electronic cigarettes is to be commended, there are no clear guidelines on how such items should be displayed. Some stores have chosen to display their vaping products next to the cigarettes. This makes sense as someone going to buy a tobacco product might consider switching if they see e-cigs on offer as well. Other stores have chosen to display vaping supplies next to the nicotine gum and patches that are commonly on offer.

One MP disagrees with the latter option

If you are thinking of quitting smoking and you’re looking for some support, you might well consider nicotine replacement therapy. So, imagine you wander into your local supermarket (possibly Sainsburys, as that is the store that displayed the vaping items with the patches and gum), and you look at that display. Do you think it would be a huge issue if you spotted the vaping display?

We don’t think it would be an issue, but MP Bob Blackman, who chairs the Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health, does. He doesn’t believe vaping supplies should ever be on “open shelves” (his words). He also said, “There may well be dangerous chemicals in the e-liquid.”

A danger to youngsters?

Another reason for Mr Blackman’s reaction seems to be that young kids and teenagers will easily be able to see the vaping supplies when displayed on shelves as Sainsbury’s decided to do. However, we know there is very little evidence that any young people are encouraged to start vaping unless they’re switching from smoking to start with.

Furthermore, research has indicated more than once that vaping is far safer than smoking. If we lock the vaping supplies away, we are merely making it easier for smokers to continue with this dangerous habit. We know smoking is harmful to health. One in four people who find themselves in hospital are smokers. Surely Sainsbury’s should be congratulated rather than vilified?

Do you agree with Mr Blackman or do you believe supermarkets are right to make it easy for people to view vaping supplies? Let us know your thoughts below.