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Supreme to discontinue bright coloured disposable vapes and rename flavours

October 19, 2023

(Photo: supreme.co.uk)

Supreme PLC has on Wednesday announced a series of measures within the group’s owned-brand vaping products to mitigate the growing rise of underage vaping as well as reduce the environmental impact of disposable vapes.

The company said it will immediately assess packaging across its entire 88vape range, from disposables to 10ml liquids, to ensure the use of colour is very limited (used only to differentiate one stock item from another) and the packaging is plain and uniform.

While its does not use images, cartoons or characters on its packaging, the Company’s 88vape disposable range will be switched to either plain black, white or grey hardware with any bright colours discontinued at the earliest opportunity.

The naming conventions of all flavours across the 88vape range will be simplified, for example ‘Peach Dream’ will be become ‘Peach’ and ‘Sweet Strawberry’ will become ‘Strawberry’ to reduce the shelf appeal for underage vapers. Any flavours which are likely to be more appealing to underage vapers will be removed entirely from the range, the company added.

Supreme will also increase its ‘pre-order’ due diligence on all retailers, both physical and online, in its network to ensure they expressly confirm that they have robust age verification protocols in place. The company said it will no longer trade with those that cannot comply with this requirement.

Supreme will strongly recommend to all retailers that their vaping products should not be located close to confectionery and will work with retailers to find a suitable location in store to avoid underage vapers from coming into contact with vaping products.

Supreme is currently rolling out vape disposal units across the entire estate of its largest customer, B&M Retail, in a bid to encourage more responsible disposal of the single use devices.

The company added that it will continue to cooperate with the government in all its efforts to combat underage vaping and would welcome further legislation of the industry, such as those proposed by the UK Vaping Industry Association who argue that the sale of vaping products should be licenced with substantial fines for those retailers that are found to be selling vapes to underage individuals.

The announcement follows a government consultation on vaping, launched last week, that set out a range of options to reduce vape product availability to young people, including restrictions on the sale of disposable vapes, ‘child-friendly’ vape flavours and packaging and the display in retail outlets.

“As a business, we are fully committed to eradicating underage vaping so that the industry can get back to its core objective: to support adult smokers to find an affordable, sustainable, safer alternative to smoking,” Sandy Chadha, chief executive of Supreme, commented.

“Whilst we believe flavoured vapes are a critical part of many ex-smokers ‘quitting journey’ as they seek to replace that tobacco taste for something more palatable, we are also desperate to ensure that those flavours do not spark any interest in younger people.”

Chadha said the company is ‘fully supportive’ of any further legislation in the sector, adding that “it is the right thing to do to begin to transition our business by removing or changing anything from within our product set that could be deemed compromising.”

He also urged a crackdown on ‘black market’ which he highlighted as a core source of vapes for young people.

“These illicit vaping products which are non-compliant with UK regulations and have larger tank sizes (meaning they last longer), higher nicotine concentrations and can contain banned products. Unless we stand up to this black market (by stricter border-force and increased investment into trading standards) then even the strictest laws governing the legal vape market won’t make a notable change to whether young people choose to vape,” he said.