E-cigarettes sold to minors

| August 10, 2016

Almost 40 percent of sellers targeted in an operation by Trading Standards in England were caught allowing people under the age of 18 to buy electronic cigarettes, according to a BBC story.

Selling electronic cigarettes to those under the age of 18 has been illegal in England since October 2015.

Children aged 14 to 17 were sold vaping devices by 246 of the 634 sellers visited between January and March 2016.

Most of the illegal sales (68 percent) were made at markets and car boot sales.

But high levels of under-age sales were detected also at other premises, which included independent pharmacies, specialist electronic cigarette shops and discount stores.

The fewest sales were made by national newsagents, petrol station kiosks and convenience stores, which are generally experienced in the sale of age-restricted products and in the principle of challenging a young person about their age and asking for proof.

Trading Standards said the figures should be seen against the results from a 2014 drug survey, which showed that while one fifth of 11-15-year-old respondents had used electronic cigarettes, only one percent were regular users of the products.

Leon Livermore, chief executive at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, said that while the results were disappointing it was important to consider them in context. “More than 2.5 million adults use electronic cigarettes and evidence suggests the products are now the most popular quitting aid for smokers in England,” he said.

“And these products are being sold in a wide variety of retailers and many of them will have little or no experience of challenging age restricted sales.”

Livermore said that where an illegal sale was made, further advice and guidance were given to help the business achieve compliance, but that penalties for the offence could be a fine of up to £2,500.

Category: Breaking News

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