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City council continues to crack down on shops selling vapes to children

Stoke-on-Trent City Council Trading Standards officers’ latest exercise to ensure shops across the city are correctly asking for identification from under-age customers, has resulted in three premises

Last week’s exercise involved two 15-year-old female volunteers attempting to buy alcohol, tobacco and vapes at 11 shops across the city, checking that shops are correctly asking for identification from under-age customers.

The pair were asked for proof of age ID in eight of the premises, resulting in them being unable to buy any items. Staff in the other three shops did not, however, ask for identification and sold them vapes.

The three shops in Stoke, Longton and Tunstall are now being investigated.

During the day a number of illegal vapes were also seized due to larger than permitted tank sizes and incorrect labelling.

Council leader Abi Brown said: “Our team regularly carry out test purchases to check that premises are following their legal requirements. We use volunteers who enter each of these shops under the watchful eye of our team, and then attempt to buy age-restricted items to test how this is dealt with.

“The law to stop under 18s buying alcohol, tobacco or e-cigarettes is there to protect residents and children. Staff must receive training in the law and know what to do when an underage customer attempts to buy one of these items.

“It’s reassuring to see that the majority of the shops correctly refused sales to our volunteers but we will be investigating the three shops who failed to decide if further action should be taken.”

To report a premise selling products to under age young people visit www.stoke.gov.uk.

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