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Business news, Consumer news

Most shops ‘refuse’ to sell vapes to children

Posted on: 6 June 2024

An operation by Heart of the South West Trading Standards Service (HotSW TS) and supported by Devon and Cornwall Police has found that the majority of Plymouth businesses recently visited are complying with the law by refusing to sell vapes to children.

On Wednesday 29 May HotSW TS Trading Standards Officers carried out test purchasing operations in Plymouth assisted by Plymouth’s Child Centred Policing Team.

The operation focused on the underage sale of vapes. It is against the law to sell vapes to anyone under the age of 18.

A volunteer, under the age of 18, was able to purchase disposable vapes from just two of the 13 premises visited. Further investigation is ongoing.

Sharon Anderson, Group Manager Investigations and Compliance for Heart of the South West Trading Standards Service, said: “We’ve seen a huge increase in vaping as an alternative to cigarettes over the last few years. Originally for those attempting to give up smoking, the bright colours and sweet flavours are worryingly attracting younger audiences, so it is essential store owners ensure that they do not sell these products to children.

“I’m pleased to see that retailers in Plymouth are taking measures to ensure that anyone who looks under the age of 18 is asked for identification when buying vapes.

“There are a range of age-restricted goods that many business owners might not usually think about, including for example computer games, knives, tanning services, DVDs and magazines.

“With our partners, we have closed two businesses in the past year for selling vapes to children and businesses must remain vigilant when selling these products and follow the regulations.

“We will continue to work in partnership with Devon and Cornwall Police and local authorities to carry out test purchases on a regular basis.”

Traders can get guidance on how to prevent the illegal sale of age-restricted goods and services through the No Proof Of Age No Sale toolkit. This interactive online toolkit is aimed at all businesses and premises that sell age-restricted goods or services. Traders can currently sign up free of charge.