15-year-old sent on undercover operation to purchase vapes in Warwickshire - The Leamington Observer

15-year-old sent on undercover operation to purchase vapes in Warwickshire

Leamington Editorial 21st Nov, 2022   0

A 15-YEAR-old was sent on an undercover operation to purchase vapes in Warwickshire.

And out of 13 shops where the teenager was sent as a ‘mystery shopper’ by Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards, only one purchase was nearly made.

At 12 stores located across all five boroughs and districts in the county the 15-year-old – a Warwickshire Police cadet volunteer – was asked for identification. The premises where the sale was nearly made is now under investigation.

Warwickshire County Council’s community safety spokesman Coun Andy Crump said: “Warwickshire Trading Standards has received increasing numbers of complaints about the sale of nicotine inhaling devices such as e-cigarettes and vapes to under 18s and to school children in particular.

“This is why we are both educating our sellers and carrying out undercover test purchase exercises with child volunteers. I would encourage all our retailers to ‘Challenge 25’ whenever they sell these products and ask for age identification.

“I’m pleased that on this occasion the vast majority of vape sellers asked for age identification and refused the sale. We will be carrying out similar enforcement exercises in the future.”

Under The Nicotine Inhaling Products (Age of Sale and Proxy Purchasing) Regulations 2015 it is an offence to sell a nicotine inhaling product to someone under the age of 18.

If found guilty of selling nicotine inhaling products to a young person under 18 years, an individual may be fined up to £2,500 in the Magistrates’ Court.

Retailers are encouraged to operate a Challenge 25 policy and ask for age identification of anyone who appears under 25 years of age.

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