Shopkeepers put on notice as council launches crackdown on underage vape sales

People, Health and Care
16:39, Thursday, 10th August 2023

Rogue retailers pedalling vapes to children are being targeted in a new offensive designed to stamp out underage sales.

A series of undercover operations will be launched with teens sent into shops to buy vapes from retailers across the area.

The vapes should only be sold to people aged 18 or over. Anyone caught selling to children can be fined up to £2,500.

Cllr Rob Waltham, leader, North Lincolnshire Council, said: “Our aim is to ensure the well-being of our young people. The increasing use of vapes, combined with mounting concerns about their potential risks, demands tougher measures.

“While the evidence suggests that e-cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco products, for adults the choice is theirs to take however there are age restrictions for a reason –selling vapes to children and teens is not acceptable and we will tackle this.

“We are committed to preventing underage access to these products, shopkeepers need to be aware that the young person they are selling to may indeed be part of the undercover operations we’re launching – that could cost them.”

While many of the vapes come in appealing flavours, they do contain nicotine. This is not the lethal part of tobacco smoke but is addictive.

Cllr John Davison, cabinet member for safer, stronger communities (urban), said: “The approach we are taking is targeted to expose rogue retailers and serve as a powerful deterrent. Retailers found in violation of the law by selling vaping products to underage individuals will face substantial fines of up to £2,500.

“The financial penalties are designed to send a clear message that we take this issue seriously – we are committed to protecting our young people from the negative effects of vaping and will not tolerate any attempts to circumvent the law, it’s irresponsible and we will not accept it here in North Lincolnshire.”

People have also been reminded about discarding disposable vapes irresponsibly. Anyone caught littering in North Lincolnshire can be fined £150, with this limit set to increase to £500 in the coming weeks.

Cllr Waltham added: “I’ve said it a thousand times and I’ll say it another thousand, if people think the council is here to clean up after them we’ll charge them for the privilege – the taxpayers here will not pick up the tab, the people acting irresponsibly will.”