Search icon


31st Dec 2022

Major UK supermarket chain stops selling disposable vapes due to concerns over ‘health of young people’

Charlie Herbert

Waitrose stops selling disposable vapes

The supermarket cited ‘the environment and the health of young people’ as the reasons for the move

Waitrose has decided to stop selling of disposable vapes, saying that it cannot justify selling single-use vaping products.

Whilst vaping products are undeniably far better for your health than smoking, the long-term risks of vaping are not yet clear. The NHS does suggest e-cigarettes as an alternative to cigarette smoking, but there are still risk factors associated with it.

In particular, there is concern about what health impacts vaping may have on people who have never smoked.

Products such Elf and Geek Bars have soared in popularity over the past year, and some believe the colourful packaging and wide array of flavours makes these products particularly attractive to teenagers.

There is also concern over the environmental impact of disposable vapes that are thrown away once they run out.

Waitrose has now said it cannot justify selling these products, given their impact on the environment and “health of young people”.

Two types of single-use e-cigarettes have been removed from sale as a result, it said. Waitrose said it has de-listed vaping products containing lithium, which it has historically sold under the Ten Motives label.

“Our move comes as reports suggest that the market growth is being fuelled by the popularity among those who haven’t previously smoked,” the company said.

Waitrose commercial director Charlotte Di Cello said: “We are a retailer driven by doing the right thing, so selling single-use vapes is not something we could justify given the impact on both the environment and the health of young people.

“We had already decided it wasn’t right to stock the fashionable bright-coloured devices which are seeing rapid growth – so this decision is the final jigsaw piece in our clear decision not to be part of the single-use vaping market.”

Earlier this year, the government in Ireland proposed plans to implement a nation-wide ban on disposable vapes.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) last month revealed that the proportion of traditional smokers in the UK fell to the lowest on record last year, partly due to the increase in vaping.

The ONS said that vaping devices such as e-cigarettes have played a “major role” in reducing the prevalence of smoking across the UK.

A recent report suggested that 8.3 percent of adults in England, Wales and Scotland vape, up from 1.7 percent a decade ago, which equated to about 800,000 people. Action on Smoking and Health (Ash), which produced the report, said a “vaping revolution” had taken place over the past decade.

Related links: