Midlothian shopkeeper fined for selling vape product to customer aged under 18

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Midlothian Council staff acted on a tip-off

Midlothian Council Trading Standards team issued fixed penalty notices to a shopkeeper and his employer for selling a nicotine-based ‘vape’ product to a young person under 18.

The council staff were acting on a tip-off that a shop in Newtongrange was selling vapes to school children. When test surveillance confirmed the sales, trading standards officers took immediate action. Further details of the shop that was punished have not been revealed.

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Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for trading standards, Councillor Stuart McKenzie said: “It’s abhorrent that shopkeepers are endangering the health of young people and profiting from doing so. They are well aware of the law, which prohibits the sale of tobacco and nicotine products, including vapes, to young people under the age of 18.

Stock photo of vape products.Stock photo of vape products.
Stock photo of vape products.

“Quite frankly anyone caught doing this and fined up to £200 in the first instance is getting off lightly.”

The penalties include a fine up to £2500 which can escalate with repeat offences and may result in a banning order from selling tobacco and/or vapes. The owner of the business can be held responsible as well as the member of staff who made the sale.

Cllr Stuart McKenzie said anyone with any information about shops or individuals selling vapes, tobacco or nicotine products illegally should contact trading standards immediately. Email [email protected] or call 0131 271 3556. The council intends to do more of these surveillance operations. If you are a parent/guardian of a young person aged between 16 years and 16 and six months then contact trading standards. They could help in similar operations and gain work experience in a supervised, enforcement role.