Trading standards have revealed that e-cigarettes are being sold to under-age youngsters in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
Two 14-year-old volunteers were sold a disposable vape in three out of five premises across BCP without being asked for any proof of age, during the recent undercover operation in February half-term by trading standards officers.
Officers also found that none of the e-cigarettes sold to the children complied with the legal requirements and one of the products is suspected to be counterfeit.
Investigations into the sales are on going, but businesses are now being reminded that they must not sell vape products to under-18s, or they will be breaking the law and could face a fine.
Cllr Bobbie Dove portfolio holder for Community Safety and Regulatory Services, said: “Disposable vapes are small, low-cost flavoured e-cigarettes which younger people and children find appealing as they come in a variety of sweet flavours and colours.
“Vape products can be purchased for as little as £5, which is pocket money price for children.
“The sale of nicotine inhaling products to under 18s is prohibited and unlawful.
“Outlets found breaking these rules could be prosecuted, and subject to a fine of up to £2,500.
“I strongly encourage businesses to sign up to the No Proof Of Age No Sale scheme, which provides advice and training on the sale of age restricted products.”
Vaping devices are highly regulated by the government to control the amount of nicotine available and have to be approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
They should contain no more than two per cent nicotine or hold more than two millilitres of liquid, equivalent to 600 puffs or a packet of cigarettes.
Trading Standards will continue to monitor the sales of disposable vapes and e-cigarettes to under 18s and are working closely with Public Health Dorset to educate parents and children on the use of these products.
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