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Two shops under investigation after selling vapes to underage children

Published: Wednesday, 28th December 2022

Stoke-on-Trent City Council teams organised a day of test purchases at premises across the city this week.

Visits were carried out to a total of 11 shops. Nine of the premises correctly refused sales but two 15 year-old-girls were able to buy vapes from two premises without being asked for identification. The shops in Hanley and Bucknall have been notified and are now being investigated by trading standards officers.

Teams also seized 92 illegal vapes and a quantity of illegal tobacco (37 packets of cigarettes and 13 50g pouches of hand-rolling tobacco) which was hidden under the counter and in a bag at the rear of the Bucknall store.

Councillor Carl Edwards, Cabinet Member for Housing and Environment said: “It is illegal to sell alcohol or tobacco to anyone under the age of 18. Our test purchases are done in a controlled way to check that premises are following the legal requirements that are in place to protect residents.

“This is work that we are continuing to step up after the lockdown and premises must follow the law. We take a very dim view of shops that don’t do so, and we’ll be investigating these three premises thoroughly.

“It is pleasing that the vast majority of the premises we visited were complying with their legal obligations. It’s absolutely vital that retailers in the city have steps in place to prevent underage sales of products such as alcohol and tobacco.

“All retailers should ensure their staff are properly trained to prevent these products getting into the hands of children. We will be taking appropriate action against the retailers who failed the operation.”

To report a premises selling products to under-age young people visit www.stoke.gov.uk.