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ACS welcomes plan to encourage smokers to swap cigarettes for vapes

April 12, 2023


The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has welcomed the plans to introduce a new scheme encouraging smokers to swap cigarettes for vapes.

Health Minister Neil O’Brien has announced the plans on Tuesday as part of a series of measures to help the government meet its smokefree 2030 target.

Key measures announced include:

“We strongly welcome this course of action from government, harnessing the potential for vaping to accelerate the decline in smoking rates, and it’s encouraging that the government are committing new resource and some innovative approaches to make this happen,” James Lowman, ACS chief executive, said.

“We are encouraged by Ministers recognising the need to ensure that the vaping market operates properly, which means that only legal product reaches retailers and consumers, and only adults can buy these products. The stronger focus on enforcement, backed by greater resources at a local level, is the right way to achieve this. Our members will welcome and embrace more enforcement activity and our guidance, on recognising legal products and implementing the widely recognised and robust Challenge25 policy to avoid under age sales, is freely available for all retailers to use.”

Lowman said the ACS will continue to work with the Department for Health and Social Care and Trading Standards departments to make this approach work.

Minister O’Brien has also launched a call for evidence on youth vaping which aims to reduce the number of children accessing and using vape products and explore how the government can act on this.