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Laois shop owners take banning e-cig sales to U-18s into their own hands

Laois shop owners and their staff will be offered training on how to ensure U-18s cannot buy e-cigarettes.

‘Verify’, a new retail training programme which provides online training modules and in-store education materials, was launched recently by PJ Carroll with support from the Convenience Stores & Newsagents Association (CSNA).

The rapid growth of vaping in Ireland has led to concerns that teens might be buying e-cigarettes, and retailers and manufacturers are coming together to ensure that U-18s in Laois cannot access vaping products.

Verify is a free training programme that aims to stamp out youth access to e-cigarettes. It provides shop owners and staff with advice on how to identify under age shoppers, check IDs, refuse sales and defuse confrontational situations.

“E-cigarettes have a very important role to play in helping people move away from cigarettes. 41% of smokers who quit last year used an e-cigarette to do so, but it’s essential we ensure that they can only be accessed by adult smokers who want to quit, ” said Simon Carroll, Country Manager, PJ Carroll.

There is currently no evidence of vaping amongst non-smokers, with Healthy Ireland showing that 99% of e-cigarette users age 15+ are current or former smokers.

Verify will work to ensure that youth access to e-cigarettes in Laois is limited even further.

The provision of free-training on e-cigarette sales has been welcomed by the CSNA and shop owners across the country.

“We are not seeing a demand for e-cigarettes from U-18s and we believe it’s vitally important that this continues to be the case.

“That’s why we’ve decided to introduce our own measures to stop sales to U-18s while we wait for the Bill from Government,” said CSNA President, Joe Mannion.

Seamus Griffin, CEO of Griffin Retail Group said, “Verify is the only youth access prevention programme available to shop owners to ensure that their staff are trained on exactly what they should do when selling e-cigarettes.”

“It teaches staff the legal age for selling e-cigarettes, when to ask for I.D, what types of identification to accept, how to spot fakes and how to deal with customers who are underage,” commented Seamus Griffin.

The launch of Verify is the latest in a series of steps that the industry has taken to ensure vaping products are not sold to U-18s, following on from the launch of the Vape Business Ireland Code of Conduct in June.

“PJ Carroll believes it’s vital that our products are only sold to adult smokers. Since we launched Vype in Ireland, our products have always had age stamps and our website is age verified.

“We also ensure our ads use adults over the age of 25 and don’t use any images that appeal to youths,” said Simon Carroll, Country Manager, PJ Carroll.

SEE ALSO – Laois jobs growth rises in 2019 through Enterprise Ireland supported companies

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Megan is currently studying English and New Media at the University of Limerick. A Raheen native, she's happiest when talking sport, especially soccer but just don't mention the 2019 champions league final