An operation Six out of seven vape shops in Plymouth sold nicotine e-liquids to a child in council sting!that took place by Plymouth City Council Trading Standards found that six-out-of-the-seven shops visited in Plymouth sold multiple bottles of E-liquid to a 16-year old volunteer.

Since October 2015 it has been illegal for retailers to sell e-cigarettes to anyone who is under the age of 18.

The trading standards team sent the young test purchaser to visit seven Plymouth shops and was sold e-liquid in six of the seven stores. Identification was not asked for in any of these stores.

Trading Standards regularly carry out test purchasing exercises to check that traders are complying with their responisibilty to protect children. They have written to all of the businesses that failed to remind them of the law and to let them know that further failure could result in a criminal prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court.

Councillor Ian Tuffin, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Socail Care said: ““Clearly this is concerning. It is important that all retailers have procedures in place to ensure that they do not break the law. Vaping products should not be sold to children because they contain nicotine, which is highly addictive.”

The courts can impose a fine of up to £2,500 on business owners and shop staff who illegally sell vaping products to those who are underage. To avoid this happening to you, Trading Standards advises sellers of all age-restricted goods to always ask for proof of age if you are at all unsure about the age of the prospective buyer. It is good practise to operate a Challenge 21 or Challenge 25 policy to make sure you know that all your customers can legally purchase restricted products. 

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