An insight into e-cigarette retailing

Monday, 18 December 2017

When compared to traditional tobacco, e-cigarettes are a relatively new phenomenon, and one that has significantly grown in popularity in recent years.

We wanted to hear about what it’s like to be an e-cigarette retailer, the challenges you’re faced with and how you deal with them, so earlier this month, we sat down with Scott from Barracuda Vape in Wales, who owns 10 e-cigarette outlets across the country. Here’s what we learnt:

Ex- smokers

A significant majority of e-cigarette users are ex-smokers. Whilst some people use e-cigarettes for the flavours and to follow recent trends of vaping by using a 0% nicotine juice, most customers are using them as a tool to quit traditional cigarettes. This has led to ‘tobacco’ being one of the most popular flavours in the market.

Trends

There has been a significant increase in under 18s using e-cigarettes, despite the majority never having smoked before. This is due to the recent trend of using devices, with children across the country vaping to ‘keep up’ with friends. This, in turn, leads to an increased use of traditional cigarettes amongst youths. The sweet flavours available and colourful graphics on advertising further entices children, which could, in time, lead to the forced blacking out of shop windows, similar to that in a bookmakers.

Education

As e-cigarettes are perceived as ‘less harmful’ than traditional tobacco, there is often a misguided sense of acceptance amongst parents when it comes to under 18s smoking them. The true impact of using these devices needs to be shared with parents as part of an education process, either within schools or when parents come in to purchase e-cigarettes and associated apparatus, for children. Many e-cigarette retailers have had to refuse sales due to parents, admitting they’re purchasing on behalf of their 11-year-old children, with proxy sales proving to be an issue for all retailers.

Challenge 25

A strict challenge 25 policy is the only way to ensure that an accidental illegal sale is not made when it comes to e-cigarettes. Supported by posters, badges and a refusal register, asking for ID from everyone is pivotal to continue running a successful business. It may mean turning down one or two sales, but it will save money and a lot of stress in the long run. Having reminders on your till system can help ensure staff don’t forget to ask for ID, a consideration for when you’re busy,

Legislation

Scott fully supports increased legislation surrounding the sale of e-cigarettes and liquids, as long as it benefits the customer and is not established to negatively impact the retailer. It is important that consumers are aware of the ingredients within their liquids, and the production of them is fully monitored and vetted. The legislation surrounding underage sales can also be made a lot stricter, or monitored more carefully. If a retailer abides by the law, increased legislation isn’t an issue.

It was very interesting to have the opportunity to discuss life as a retailer with Scott, and discover what he goes through day-to-day. If you are interested in receiving one of our e-cigarette retailer packs, or would like us to provide team training on the importance of challenge 25, visit: https://www.underagesales.co.uk/welcome