Rickmansworth residents have spoken out about the number of vape shops in the local area.
With the government about to ban single-use vapes on environmental and health grounds, multiple residents asked what can be done in the meantime to stop more vape shops opening in Rickmansworth.
One resident said: “The growth in vape shops is concerning, especially as they are promoting vapes near sweets. In one case, glitzy lighting and balloons seem designed to attract children.”
For Rickmansworth resident Irene, the proliferation of vape shops only adds to what she calls the “sharp decline” of the High Street.
She said: “Aside from vapes and coffee, there’s nothing for anyone to buy on the High Street. The truth is that there are no shops you’d want to come here for. There used to be clothes shops and the like, but things have gone downhill.”
A spokesperson for Batchworth Community Council (BCC) said: “Concerned residents have also been in contact with BCC. Whilst we want to encourage thriving businesses in the High Street, we want to ensure that sales of these goods are kept within trading standards. We have contacted our MP with residents’ concerns and central government is looking at how vapes are sold in the UK. We await what their recommendations are going to be and hope to update residents soon.”
A Three Rivers District Council spokesperson said: “The change of use to vape shops does not require planning permission nor do they require a licence from the council. However, the council does work with Trading Standards to ensure the vapes on sale at these premises are safe and meet regulations.
“Should anyone have any issues with products containing nicotine being sold to young adults they should report to Trading Standards at email@example.com in the first instance.”