Staffordshire shop managers are being reminded that e-cigarettes should not be sold to under-18s after half of premises visited during a test purchase operation failed.
The reminder comes one year after new age restriction laws were introduced and follows a test-purchase operation across all eight district and boroughs in Staffordshire. Fourteen of the 28 premises visited by county council trading standards officers sold nicotine inhaling products, known as e-cigarettes, to underage volunteers.
The operation took place in August and was part funded by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. New laws came into force in October 2015 prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s, bringing the age restriction in line with tobacco products. The trading standards team will be working with the traders that failed to ensure they comply with the law in the future.
Staffordshire County Council’s communities leader Gill Heath said:
E-cigarettes are a fairly new product and the age restriction law has been in force for a year now. We want traders to be fully aware that they have a responsibility to comply with the law. Clearly a 50 per cent failure rate of traders is unacceptable and our trading standards team will be working with those concerned to make sure this does not happen again. We are here to support businesses and would urge any to contact us for advice and support on any trading laws.”
The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Business Helpline can be contacted on 0300 111 8002