The UK’s leading vape company is withdrawing certain sweet flavours from sale following criticism they appeal to children.
Elfbar has already dropped its Bubble Gum, Cotton Candy and Rainbow Candy flavours, and will soon stop selling its Gummy flavour too.
The company told ITV News it was “renaming and phasing out” some flavours from its products.
A spokesperson said: “This is a continuation of our efforts to limit their appeal to children, while being mindful that flavours play a critical role for adult smokers and ex-smokers on their journey to quit smoking.”
The move comes ahead of the government’s introduction of new e-cigarettes regulations, which are set to include new rules on flavours after concerns over the number of children vaping.
A consultation on the plans ends on December 6.
The Chinese-owned company – which also owns the Lost Mary brand – is calling for tighter restrictions on vape sales, including a licensing regime for retailers.
A spokesperson said: “The introduction of such a regime would mitigate children’s access to vapes and make it easier for the authorities to better regulate the sale of vaping devices.
“Furthermore, we believe it would help combat the growing illicit vape market and drive increased rates of vape recycling”
Research from the charity ASH shows more than one in five children have tried vaping – a significant rise since before the pandemic.
New legislation options being considered by the government on vape flavours include restrictions on how how vapes are described, limiting the ingredients in vapes and limiting the characterising flavour (the taste and smell) of vapes.
Elfbar was worth £322.1m in 2022 according to research by NielsonIQ, more than three times the second biggest brand in the UK, Vuse.
Vuse’s parent company British American Tobacco (BAT) launched a media campaign earlier this week calling for increased regulation of the vaping industry ahead of the government consultation closing next week.
It argues dessert and soft-drink flavour vapes should be banned.
BAT lead for the UK Asli Ertonguc said: “As the largest manufacturer of vaping products in the UK, we are clear on our responsibilities and are urging the government to introduce more stringent vaping regulations.
“We believe that underage users should never vape, so we want confectionery, dessert and soft drink flavours to be banned and the introduction of a new regime for how and where vapes are sold.”
The move from Elfbar to withdraw flavours comes after the company had adverts banned for misleading consumers about their environmental benefit of vapes.
Poster and billboard adverts, seen in London in July and August, state “recycling for a greener future” followed by the recycling logo.
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