The country’s leading vaping company BAT UK has announced that its youth access prevention campaign VERIFY will have helped over 17,000 retailers prevent the sale of tobacco and vapour products to those aged under 18 by the end of 2022.
The VERIFY campaign provides retailers and their staff with information and practical materials about why tobacco and vapour products should only be sold to adult smokers.
In 2021, over 10,000 retailers across the country, including over 1,500 shop owners and staff in the Central English region will be provided with posters, stickers and other materials to display at the point of sale, as well as training on how to prevent nicotine products from being purchased by under-18s. In 2022 VERIFY is being scaled-up to over 17,000 retailers across the UK.
BAT UK’s General Manager Frederik Svensson said that VERIFY delivers on BAT’s commitment to preventing youth access to its nicotine products.
“BAT takes preventing youth access to any of our tobacco, vapour and oral nicotine pouches incredibly seriously. We fully support laws and regulations that introduce a legal minimum age of 18 years, and go above and beyond those laws to safeguard our products against youth access.”
“Our new VERIFY awareness programme will help our retail partners prevent nicotine products from being accessed by under-18s. With over 300 trade representatives and VUSE store staff trained, as well as 150 VERIFY ambassadors, this programme supports our long-standing commitment to only market our products to adult nicotine consumers, as set out in our International Marketing Principles.”
On the other hand, vaping has proven an incredibly successful smoke cessation tool for adults seeking to quit cigarettes. The UK is a world leader in this regard. The country’s progressive vaping policies have helped reduce smoking rates from 20% to 14.1% in the last ten years. According to ASH, e-cigarettes are now the most popular quitting aid which smokers use in the UK. The country is seen as a global leader in tobacco control to address smoking harms caused by smoking.
Public Health England has confirmed that vapour products are 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes. Even still, an NHS report published in February stated that misinformation about the safety of vaping remains one of the biggest hurdles preventing more people from making the switch.
Mr Svensson said that “Vaping has already helped three million adult smokers in the UK quit. But with more than seven million people still smoking cigarettes it is imperative for manufacturers and retailers to work together to ensure that consumers have the confidence they need to make the switch from cigarettes to less harmful alternatives. Our VERIFY campaign will help ensure that minors do not get access to vapes and build wider public confidence in the positive role that vaping can play to help adult consumers to get away from cigarettes.”