A Staffordshire vape shop has been hit with a huge fine after a Trading Standards ‘sting’.Staff sold a 16-year-old girl what they’re calling an ‘e-cigarette refill’.The shop was fined: £1,700 – given costs of £1,993.50 and made to pay a so called ‘victim surcharge’ of £170.
Prosecutor Lucy Daniels said the girl looked ‘quite young’.
Defense solicitor, Haseed Yousof, told the court:There have been two failed test purchases in the last six years.
Following this incident, both directors have become extra vigilant and staff are reminded to ID anyone who appears to be under-age.There is a new process where staff must sign a register when denying customers and they have also started a challenge 25 policy.This is stated all over their social media and Facebook pages.
Trading Standards manager, Tony Shore, said:This successful prosecution shows we take the selling of age-restricted products to young people very seriously.We expect all retailers to operate within the law, which in this case is designed to protect children and young people.We recognise the benefits of e-cigarettes as an aid to quit.However, it is not appropriate for children under the age of 18 to be using e-cigarettes.Test purchasing operations are a good way to make sure that retailers have strong policies in place on all age-restricted products.Our trading standards team provides guidance to support retailers to comply with the law.We will not hesitate to take enforcement action where it is appropriate to do so.
“Not Rocket Science”
Meanwhile a vape shop in Reading caught selling to a 15-year-old, was fined £800 – ordered to pay costs of £2,041.88, with a victim surcharge of £80.
UKVIA’s John Dunne tweeted:When will people learn.Hopefully this will wake some people up.Don’t sell vapes to minors people it’s not rocket science.
It really is that simple folks.Not only could it be wallet busting expensive to the shop owner – under-aged sales add fuel to the anti-vape fire that’s smouldering here in the UK.