The UK’s largest vaping retailer has announced plans to open ten more stores by the end of the year.
VPZ plans to increase its portfolio to 160 stores across England and Scotland, including shops in Glasgow and London.
However the company has called on the UK Government to introduce tighter controls and licensing for selling vaping products.
Last month, a major report by Action on Smoking and Health said many youngsters were attracted to the devices because of the way they are marketed in shops and on social media sites such as TikTok and Instagram.
An STV News investigation later found the number of pupils vaping at high schools has increased substantially over the last four years.
However government ministers continue to promote vaping, with Public Health England claiming e-cigarettes carry a “fraction of the risk of smoking”.
Doug Mutter, director of VPZ, said: “As the UK’s leading vaping specialist, we are spearheading the fight against the nation’s number one killer – smoking.
“Our plans to open ten new stores and the launch of our mobile vape clinic responds 100% to our ambition to engage with more smokers throughout the country and help them take the first steps on their quit journey.”
The boss said however that the sector could be improved, calling for greater scrutiny of those selling products,
Mr Mutter said: “At the moment we have a challenge in the industry where imported, many unregulated, disposable vaping products are readily available from local convenience stores, supermarkets and several other general retailers with no age verification control or regulation in many of these.
“We are urging the UK Government to act now and follow best practice from countries like New Zealand, where flavoured products can only be sold from specialist licensed vaping stores, where a challenge 25 policy is in place and consultation is aimed towards adult smokers and vapers.
“VPZ is also in favour of substantial fines for those who breach the rules.”
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