B&M, York: Ice cream flavoured vapes being sold on sweet aisle in Yorkshire store
Pictures taken from the store in Foss Island retail park show multiple sweet-flavoured vapes being sold next to chocolates such as Aero, Galaxy and Maltesers.
Coun Jenny Kent, executive member for environment and climate emergency, said: “It’s hard to see how anyone thinks it’s ok to market vapes to children near the sweet aisle, whether it is technically legal or not. Our excellent trading standards team are visiting the store and will discuss how these products are being sold with the company in question.”
Coun Bob Webb, executive member for children, young people and education, said: “The health and wellbeing of the young people of York is one of our top priorities. Vapes are not harmless and whilst we don’t know the long-term effects yet, we know that vaping can have some serious consequences, especially for those that don’t already smoke.
“This is why it’s concerning to see products specifically for adults marketed in this way and displayed alongside products for children and young people. We will continue to do everything we can to support the health of young people across the city and help them make healthy choices, including encouraging them to avoid vaping.”
In York, free support is available to anyone who wants to quit smoking or vaping via the City of York Council’s health trainers.
They help support teenagers following a rise in vaping and smoking in younger age groups, including providing secondary schools and sixth forms with a free package of support they can provide to students, along with offering 12 to 17-year-olds face-to-face or remote confidential support and guidance.
Recent figures show the number of children using vapes in the past three years has tripled, with 20.5 per cent of children aged between 11 and 17-years-old having tried vaping in 2023, according to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).
The proportion of never-smokers who have tried vaping is 11.5 per cent, however, eight out of ten children have never smoked, so this amounts to nearly half of children who have ever tried vaping.
A spokesperson of ASH said recent data “shows a worrying growth in vaping among teens and young adults.”
Government proposals to restrict the flavours and descriptions of vapes so they are no longer targeted at children are currently being consulted until December 6.
More regulation of packaging and product presentation and restricting the sale of disposable vapes are also part of the consultation.
The spokesperson for ASH said: “The government’s response to the consultation on youth vaping due imminently must contain concrete measures to prohibit child-friendly branding, and put products out of sight and out of reach in shops, as well as a tax on the pocket money priced disposable vapes most popular with children.”
B&M was approached for comment, but did not respond.