The owner of a Wigan town centre shop has been hit with a fine after being caught selling an e-cigarette to a 16-year-old.
Barry Russel Gottlieb, is the owner of an e-cigarette shop called Traders Corner in Mesnes Street.
At Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court Gottleib was found guilty in his absence of selling a nicotine inhaling product to a person under the age of 18, contrary to Regulation 3 of the Nicotine Inhaling Products Regulations 2015.
He was fined £440 and ordered to pay £316 in costs and a £44 victim surcharge, a total of £800 which he has 28 days to pay in full.
Despite various warnings from Wigan Council’s Trading Standards team, they say they continued to receive allegations of underage sales of e-cigarettes by Mr Gottlieb.
With the help of an undercover 16-year-old volunteer who purchased the item, the team have been able to successfully prosecute him.
Following a change in legislation in October 2015, it is now illegal to sell e-cigarettes and nicotine inhaling products to those aged under 18.
Trading Standards today warned other traders that they are continuing their undercover operations with businesses who they suspect are also still flouting the law.
Coun Kevin Anderson, cabinet member for environment, said: “We will always support and advise businesses in the first instance and it is disappointing that, despite receiving a number of advice visits from Trading Standards, Mr Gottlieb sold an e-cigarette to our young volunteer.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and take robust enforcement action should we receive further complaints. We would encourage all retailers of e-cigarettes to be vigilant and responsible.
“Ask for proof of age from anyone who looks under 25. Businesses should also regularly use a refusals register when individuals attempt to buy e-cigarettes to record the event.”
The new law also makes it an offence for an adult to buy or attempt to buy tobacco products, cigarette papers or e-cigarettes on behalf of a person aged under 18.
If you suspect a trader of selling age restricted products to under-18s, report them to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.
It’s believed that a staggering 2.6 million adults in Britain currently use e-cigs and the figure is rising.
Up until last October people of any age could buy e-cigarettes. But with ongoing concerns about the health of vaping itself and people taking it up when they haven’t smoked before, the leglisation was brought in to prevent sales to minors.
Retailers can be fined up to £2,500 and it is also an offence to by e-cigarettes on behalf of an under-18.