An operation by Plymouth City Council Trading Standards found that six-out-of-the-seven shops visited sold multiple bottles of e-liquid containing nicotine to a 16-year-old volunteer.
It has been illegal for retailers to sell e-cigarettes or e-liquids to anyone who is aged under 18 years since October, 2015.
The trading standards team sent the young test purchaser to visit seven Plymouth shops and was sold e-liquid in six of the stores.
Trading Standards regularly carry out test purchasing exercises to check that traders comply with their responsibility to protect children. They have written to all of the businesses that failed to remind them of the law, and to let them know that any further failure could result in a criminal prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court.
Councillor Ian Tuffin, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “Clearly this is concerning. It is important that all retailers have procedures in place to ensure that they do not break the law. Vaping products should not be sold to children because they contain nicotine, which is highly addictive.”
The courts can impose a fine of up to £2,500 on business owners and shop staff who illegally sell vaping products to those who are underage.
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