Sainsbury’s disposable vape review welcomed
A decision by supermarket giant Sainsbury’s to review sales of vaping products in its stores has been welcomed by the Scottish Greens politician leading calls for a ban.
Gillian Mackay MSP wrote to big name retailers urging them to look at the dangers of vapes in particular around young people, amid fears from world experts predicting their use is creating a ticking- health and environmental time bomb.
Growing evidence suggests vapes are being increasingly abused by under-age users being targeted by marketing of flavoured products. That risks a double whammy of impacting their lungs and causing a spike in litter.
Ms Mackay called on big name stores to lead by example and voluntarily hide disposable vapes behind neutral screens in the same way traditional tobacco products are.
Sainsbury’s have now replied to the campaigning Scottish Greens health spokesperson to say they have launched a review.
In an email from their Senior Government Relations Manager, Sainsbury’s said: “Thank you for Ms Mackay’s letter dated 22 December regarding the sale of vaping products and apologies for the delay in responding.
“I would like to reassure you that as one of the UK’s largest supermarkets we take our responsibilities seriously. As such, all our vaping products are covered by the Think 25 challenge in the same way as alcohol and cigarettes at our kiosks, checkouts and self-service checkouts.
“We do not currently have these products behind shutters, but we are in the process of reviewing this and I will update you shortly. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.”
Ms Mackay, Member for Central Scotland (Region), said: “This is a very welcome step by one of the UK’s largest and best known supermarket brands.
“I would hope Sainsbury’s review concludes with the same advice issued by health, education and international experts – that disposable vapes should be kept well away from temptation for young people.
“There is growing evidence of the terrible harm being done to corrupt young lungs, as well as causing a spoke in litter, and retailers cannot simply shift the blame onto users.
“Supermarkets and other shops of course want to maximise their profits and meet customer demand, but that must not be at the expense of an entire generation’s health. They have an important role to play in communities.
“To hide these from view, as they already do with other health threatening products, is a simple and common sense step to take and would undoubtedly win the support of the public and others.
“Not to do so I fear would send an altogether different message, and I would urge Sainsbury’s to do the right thing, the responsible thing and to do so quickly.
“I would also encourage Sainsbury's to use this opportunity to consider going further.
“There is a strong case for banning these products altogether, as Waitrose did last year, leading the way as influential and responsible retailers ahead of any legislation being imposed.”