Rise in sale of illegal vapes to underage children deeply concerning, says McReynolds

Alliance East Belfast MLA Peter McReynolds has expressed significant concerns following a meeting with Belfast City Council officials to discuss the rise in the illegal sale of disposable vapes and e-cigarettes to under-18s.

Peter McReynolds E-Cigarettes

During the meeting with Belfast City Council’s Tobacco Control Team, McReynolds raised the issue that disposable vapes do not fall under the Tobacco Retailers Act (Northern Ireland) 2014 and as such can be sold in any establishment, without the need for a proper licence. The selling of these items has extended far beyond everyday retailers with disposable vapes readily available in hairdressers, pharmacies and tanning salons amongst others.
Recent test purchases carried out across the city resulted in more than 50% of the underage buyers being illegally sold vapes/e-cigarettes.
McReynolds also brought attention to the harmful environmental impact of disposable cigarettes which are extremely difficult to recycle due to the lithium battery used to power them.
“I will be reaching out to some of the largest retailers in the country for an explanation on how they are planning to make recycling of these items more widely available.”
“Following a recent discussion with Cancer Focus NI, I am encouraged to learn that they are engaging with schoolchildren to warn them of the dangers of nicotine addiction.”
“I would call on the Public Health Agency to provide Cancer Focus NI with additional funding to enable resources to be directed towards raising awareness around the addictiveness of vaping and working towards a smoke-free Northern Ireland.
“Moreover, we need greater certainty about who is selling vapes in Northern Ireland and greater accountability around who they are selling them to.”