E-cigarettes were sold to an underage child in Swindon following a Trading Standards-led operation.
Swindon Borough Council’s Trading Standards team, with the help of Wiltshire Police, recently carried out test purchases to check retailers were following the law when selling e-cigarette products to those under the legal age of 18 years of age.
The enforcement focused on shops about which Trading Standards had received intelligence that the law was not being followed. Two out of the five stores tested sold the products to the under-age purchaser.
Swindon’s Trading Standards team are currently still investigating these stores with a view to enforcement action.
Cllr Jim Grant, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Joint Working, said: “We are becoming increasingly concerned about disposable vapes and their popularity amongst school-aged children who should not have access to them.
“Nicotine is highly addictive, and children should not be exposed to, or be experimenting with its use. It is also a criminal offence to sell e-cigarette devices to under 18s and to buy them on behalf of those not old enough.
“I hope this latest operations serves as a reminder to retail premises that they should follow the law and that we will take action to ensure they are not selling these products to those under age.”
Acting Inspector Tristan Winter from Wiltshire Police said: “Wiltshire Police works closely with our partners to help disrupt criminal activity.
"The selling of e-cigarettes to those underage impacts their health and wellbeing, and we will continue to take action against anyone who puts young people at risk.”
Any information leading to the sale and supply of e-cigarettes or tobacco to underage children can be reported anonymously to Trading Standards at www.swillegaltobacco.info/report-it
Members of the public who see shops selling an age-restricted product to an underage child can act as the eyes and ears of Trading Standards in the community.
Anyone who has any concerns or would like further advice can contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.
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