A Monmouthshire County Councillor has written to the Welsh Government Minister for Health and Social Care - Eluned Morgan and the Daily Mail over her claims that a local store is marketing vaping and e cigarettes which she believes is aimed at children and young people.

Cllr Catherine Fookes said that she has evidence of how supermarket chain Morrisons is marketing the products at the convenience store at Wyesham, formerly McColls.

“I want to express my deep concern, and that of the many parents I represent, that the placement of these products and their advertising adjacent to sweets, toys and crayons is indicative of the deliberate marketing of vaping and e cigarette products by Morrisons towards children and young people.

Photographs she has taken were taken at the newly opened Morrisons Convenience store in Wyesham Road, Monmouth claims to show a cabinet full of vaping products located in the middle of the shop and multi coloured crayons for sale are displayed adjacent to the cabinets.

She also claims that the vapes are multi coloured and branded with terms such as ‘Geek Bar’ ‘Pink Lemonade’ ‘Watermelon Chill’ and that the products have warnings that ‘This product contains nicotine which is a highly addictive substance’.

The side of the cabinet contains a QR code which links to Morrisons Vapes.

She aslo said that vaping advertisements and promotional material is placed on the counter where customers pay for their goods and that multi coloured crayons are also for sale displayed adjacent to the advertising material.

She added that below the counter with vaping advertisements are rows of sweets for sale.

She reminded the government minister that they have recently stated the UK Government should ban the sale single use vapes “and I support your aims and I am writing to the Health Secretary Stephen Barclay”.

She added that vaping was originally introduced to help smokers give up smoking and that was an important development. “It is now clear to me that vaping is being promoted for all age groups and the marketing of these products, which cause nicotine to be inhaled, is a serious public health risk. I understand in Australia vapes are only available on prescription,”.

Cllr Fookes maintains that multi-cultured vapes containing nicotine should not be promoted or sold alongside multi coloured crayons and sweets.

“I believe Morrisons is acting is an irresponsible way with dangerous health and addiction risks to children and young people.

“I will make whatever representation is necessary to see the marketing of vapes to children and young people by Morrisons and other retailers is made illegal.

A Morrisons spokesperson said: “Our policy, in relation to the sale of vaping products, aims to offer our adult customers, who currently smoke, a safer alternative to tobacco while maintaining strict controls to prevent the sale of vaping products to children and minimising their appeal to young people.”

“Vaping products are age-restricted and we apply a strict Challenge 25 policy in all our stores to make sure that they cannot be purchased by customers under the age of 18. We also have a policy of not stocking flavours considered as particularly appealing to children such as bubblegum and as of February 2023 we removed all confectionery flavoured vapes from our stores. We have also taken care to ensure the displays for vaping products are located in areas of the store where we have a strong colleague presence. In addition, and to maintain high standards of security, all fixtures are covered by CCTV and vaping products are security tagged to deter shoplifters.”