Scarborough retailer prosecuted for selling e-cigarette to teenager

Retailers must enforce the ban on anyone under 18 buying e-cigarettes.
Retailers must enforce the ban on anyone under 18 buying e-cigarettes.

A Scarborough retailer has been prosecuted for selling an e-cigarette to a teenager.

Mr Steven Purves, of Vaporised, Huntriss Row, was fined £440 at Scarborough Magistrates Court on March 10 for selling an e-cigarette to a 14-year-old.

North Yorkshire County Council Trading Standards department has reported an increase in complaints relating to the sale of e-cigarettes and nicotine inhaling products to under-18s.

E-cigarettes are now the most popular way for smokers to quit, but it is illegal for under-18s to buy and use them.

Trading Standards has conducted informal surveys this month through attempted test purchases of e-cigarettes and nicotine inhaling products by under-18s at retailers, with sales occurring in 25 per cent (four out of 16) attempts.

Dr Lincoln Sargeant, director of Public Health for north Yorkshire, said: “We recognise the benefits of e-cigarettes as an aid to quit. However, it is not appropriate for children under the age of 18 to be using e-cigarettes. Therefore we support our trading Standards colleagues to continue to enforce this legislation.’’

Matt O’Neill, Assistant Director of Growth, Planning and Trading Standards, said: ”This court result is a reminder to local businesses and retailers to comply with legislation and shows the benefits of the work carried out by our Trading Standards team plays in protecting our children’s health by preventing children accessing all forms of tobacco and nicotine.’’

A new County Council-funded stop smoking service called Smokefreelife North Yorkshire provides free support for people who live or work in the county, including young people aged 12 and over who wish to quit smoking.

A range of support is available, including group sessions, one-to-one support, telephone support, and medication.

For more information call 0800 2465215 or 01609 663023, text QUIT to 66777 or visit www.smokefreelifenorthyorkshire.co.uk