A new Vape Superstore has opened in Leckwith near multiple schools, causing concern amongst parents.
Vape Superstore opened it's first Welsh branch in Leckwith Road, Cardiff, on Friday, April 28. The company is originally based in Exeter but after visiting Cardiff, owner Ricky Jones felt it would be "a great place to open a new shop." The store sells a variety of e-cigarettes, liquids and hardware.
However, some parents and residents near the new store are unhappy as they say Fitzalan High School and multiple primary schools are close by. The design of the store, with it's bright pink banner and colourful advertisements has also caused concern. Others are less concerned however. You can get more Cardiff news and other story updates straight to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletters here.
Parent, Gavin Allen, voiced his concerns, saying: "There are two things I am concerned about, one is the way the store is designed like an ice-cream or sweet shop, in my opinion, and two is that it is in the centre of schools and parks. I am uncomfortable with the striking way it is designed as I believe it appeals to children."
Another nearby resident, who did not want to be named, said: "If I had kids I would not be happy with it being there, I can understand why parents may be upset." But not all residents were against the opening of Vape Superstore with one resident, who also did not want to be named, saying: "You can buy them anywhere now, so another store doesn't mean anything." While another, also anonymous, said: "As long as it is policed properly, I don't see the problem."
Since it's opening, Vape Superstore has received 82 five-star Google reviews with customers complementing the store on its staff and products.
According to a report by Senedd Cymru: "In the 2019/20 Student Wellbeing Survey of 11 to 16-year-olds in Wales, 22% had tried an e-cigarette, while 3% vaped at least once a week." It also showed that 7 out of 20 shops in Cardiff sold e-cigarettes to underage children.
But Mr Jones claimed to have put strict policies in place to avoid selling to underage people. He told WalesOnline that the store would implement identification checks to allow customers over the age of 18 into the store with a think 25 policy. They also said that they would be vigilant in not letting children or young people into the store if wearing school uniform.