17th May 2024

Shopkeeper banned from selling vapes

Highland TS has secured a 15-month Banning Order against a shopkeeper who sold vapes to youngsters.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
We will not hesitate to take proportionate enforcement action when required to protect young people

A shopkeeper who repeatedly sold vaping products to people under the age of 18 has been banned from selling vapes for 15 months following an investigation by Highland Council Trading Standards.

Along with two of his employees Adnan Abbas, who owns Vapecing Scot Ltd (trading as Vapecing) and Wow Mobile Ltd, both in Inverness, was found to have sold vapes to underage test purchasers on two separate occasions between July and October 2023. As a result, four separate Fixed Penalty Notices were issued.

Abbas also failed to operate a robust Challenge 25 Age Verification Policy, resulting in a further two Fixed Penalty Notices being issued for the same period for both retail premises.

Highland Council Trading Standards applied for a Banning Order against Abbas from Inverness Sheriff Court, which was granted earlier this month.

David MacKenzie, Trading Standards Manager at Highland Council, said: “Despite repeated warnings and visits by Highland Council Trading Standards Officers, Mr Abbas continued to sell vapes to underage customers with no concern for their health or welfare.

“Vapes and tobacco products contain nicotine, which is a highly addictive substance and can only be legally sold to adults aged 18 years or over who can produce genuine photographic ID such as a driver’s licence or passport when requested.

“In light of repeated offending, we had little option but to seek an order from the court banning Mr Abbas from selling vapes through both retail premises in prominent locations within the city centre of Inverness.”

As in the rest of the UK, the legal age for buying vapes in Scotland is 18 years. It is an offence to sell vapes to persons under this age, and anyone who fails to operate a Challenge 25 Age Verification Policy regarding the sale of vapes also commits an offence.

“Although the majority of vape and tobacco retail businesses comply with the law, we will not hesitate to take proportionate enforcement action when required to protect young people,” MacKenzie added. “This includes issuing Fixed Penalty Notices and ultimately applying to the Sheriff court for a Banning Order where retailers continuously fail a test purchase or fail to meet their legal responsibilities. We will also continue an extensive programme of advisory visits to shops and test purchases using young volunteers.”

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