Last year, JTI’s youth access prevention scheme IDentify subjected 154 retailers in Brighton to up to four rounds of mystery shopping to identify premises that were ‘at risk’ of selling tobacco and vaping products to minors.
Results from the first round indicated that 58% of retailers were identified as being ‘at risk’, but after specialist advice and in some cases, free face-to-face training, only two retailers still remained in the ‘at risk’ category at the end of the four-stage process.
Since the programme launched in 2014, IDentify has test-purchased more than 16,000 retailers, over 3,000 have been provided with compliance audits and in-store training. JTI also supports additional initiatives aimed at preventing underage sales of tobacco and vaping products through a No ID, No Sale! Toolkit, as well as an 18+ Vaping Toolkit specifically designed for vape stores.
JTI works with Age Check Certification Services, a provider of compliance services for businesses of age-restricted goods and services, to deliver the IDentify scheme. Any training provided to retailers through the scheme is free-of-charge and delivered by ACCS’s fully-qualified trading standards professionals.
Ian Howell, fiscal and regulatory affairs manager at JTI, said: “The latest figures on smoking and vaping among young people continue to show very low levels of use – around 2% declaring themselves to be regular smokers or vapers i.e. smoking at least one cigarette, or one e-cigarette, a week. While this is welcome, it is still too high and this is why JTI continues to impress on retailers the need to follow best practice and obey the law.
“While we accept that retailers’ jobs aren’t easy, there can be no excuses when it comes to underage sales of tobacco, vaping and other nicotine products and they should always follow the Challenge 25 process.”
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