Britain’s Superdrug to stop selling single-use vapes

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FILE PHOTO: A disposable vape advertisement is seen in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Britain, September 14, 2023. REUTERS/Carl Recine/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – British pharmacy chain Superdrug will stop selling single-use vapes, the company announced on Friday, citing the environmental impact caused by their disposal and the popularity of the products among young people.

Nearly five million disposable vapes are thrown away every week in Britain according to research by non-governmental organisation Material Focus and YouGov. The vapes, many of which contain lithium-ion batteries, frequently end up in landfill.

Superdrug said it has stopped all purchases of single-use vapes and aims to have its stock completely cleared by the end of 2023. The retailer said it sells 1,300 single-use vapes per week, indicating a likely hit to revenue from the decision.

Councils in England and Wales called on government in July to ban the sale of single-use vapes by 2024 on both environmental and health grounds, and the Telegraph reported last week that health ministers are considering a ban.

“We need to be responsible about the growing trend in disposable vapes among young people, and the lasting effect on the environment,” Superdrug’s healthcare director Ghada Beal said in a statement.

Superdrug said the products that will no longer be sold include Flavaah and Vuse Go, a British American Tobacco brand.

Boots, Britain’s biggest pharmacy chain, did not immediately reply to a request for comment on its single-use vape policy. Supermarket chain Waitrose in January announced it would stop selling disposable vapes.

(Reporting by Helen Reid, Additional reporting by Emma Rumney; Editing by Sharon Singleton)

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