Shops caught selling nicotine e-cigarettes to children

Medway Council Press Release

Nearly ninety per cent of shops in Medway selling e-cigarettes are breaking the law by selling nicotine products to children.
These are the findings of a Medway Council Trading Standards operation to see if shops are following new rules which mean it’s illegal to sell e-cigarette products containing nicotine to anyone under 18.
Officers sent a 14-year-old volunteer into eight shops in Medway specialising in e-cigarettes and they were alarmed that seven allowed the youngster to buy nicotine products.
All shops in Medway known to Trading Standards as selling large amounts of these types of products were approached, most of them in Gillingham and Chatham.
Under new legislation brought in on 1 October, Nicotine Inhaling Products ( Age of Sale and Proxy Purchasing ) Regulations 2015, retailers selling e-cigarettes or their pre-filled refill cartridges and refill liquids that contain nicotine to under 18s, could be fined £2,500.
Children may be attracted to the products because of the sweet flavours available including bubble-gum, Fanta orange and tutti-frutti, but it’s up to retailers to check ID before making a sale.
On this occasion, Medway Council Trading Standards will be writing warning letters to the seven retailers who did sell products to a 14-year-old as part of their operation, because the legislation is relatively new.
Medway Council’s portfolio holder in charge of Trading Standards Cllr Jane Chitty said: “It is disappointing to see these products which contain nicotine, an extremely addictive substance, being sold so readily to a 14-year-old. The officers in Medway’s Trading Standards team will be working hard to educate these businesses on their legal responsibilities and the simple steps that will avoid illegal sales.
“Anyone caught selling these products, after this offer of advice, faces the prospect of legal action and a potential fine of £2,500.
“I would urge anyone with any concerns over the sale of any age restricted products to contact Medway Council’s Trading Standards team on 01634 334455.”

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