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Shopworker sentenced in crackdown on underage vape sales

One individual has been sentenced on Monday 3rd April after selling vapes to underage children.

Mustafa Karim, trading as Stoke City Vapes Store in Longton, pleaded guilty to one count of selling an e-liquid to a person under 18 years. The sale was part of an underage sales test purchasing exercise carried out by Stoke-on-Trent City Council Trading Standards team on 22nd July 2022 and was made to two fifteen-year-old volunteers.

Teams also seized 25 illegal vapes which were found at the store. Illegal vapes include those with tank sizes that are too large and those which have incorrect health warnings or which falsely claim to be zero-nicotine. Mr Karim has been fined a total of £250 with a £100 victim surcharge and ordered to pay £611 costs.

A Stoke-on-Trent City Council spokesman said: “It is illegal to sell vapes or tobacco to anyone under the age of 18. Our test purchases are done in a controlled way to check that premises are following the legal requirements that are in place to protect residents. All retailers should ensure their staff are properly trained to prevent these products getting into the hands of children.”

If any residents or businesses have concerns over the supply of products to under age children, or sale of illegal tobacco, they can contact the trading standards team at stoke.gov.uk or by calling the fakes hotline on 01782 238444.

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