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Shops urged to ‘challenge 25’ on sales of e-cigs

Published Monday, 14 May 2018

Trading Standards e-cigs

Retailers in South Lanarkshire are being reminded that the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18 is against the law

The advice comes from the council’s Consumer and Trading Standards team, 12 months on from the introduction of the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) Scotland Act 2016, which changed the legislation on the sale of nicotine vapour products (NVPs), bringing them into line with existing rules for the sale of tobacco.

And it comes in the wake of a series of ‘test purchase’ visits in which more than half of young volunteers* failed to be challenged or asked for ID, when trying to buy NVPs.

As of April last year, the new legislation introduced a raft of measures which retailers large and small must follow, or risk committing an offence.

These include:

  • the prohibition of the sale of NVPs to anyone under the age of 18
  • the need to operate a ‘challenge 25’ age verification policy, on which all staff over aged 18 must be trained
  • the requirement to register with the Scottish Government as a retailer of NVPs.

Councillor John Anderson, Chair of Community and Enterprise Resources said: “Officers from Consumer and Trading Standards visited more than 600 retailers, large and small, last year offering advice and guidance to help shop owners, and their staff, to comply with these new rules.

“In the main, the response from retailers has been overwhelmingly positive and we are keen to work in partnership with them all to ensure co-operation across the board.

“However, the results of our recent test purchase exercise are disappointing and we are planning follow up visits to those premises to ensure that traders have now understood and have implemented the ‘challenge 25’ policy.”

Significant penalties are in place for those who fail to comply with the new legislation ranging from a fixed penalty fine of £200 and ban on the sale of products, to a £20,000 fine, six month prison sentence or both.

*for test purchasing under challenge 25 age verification, the young volunteers used are aged 19-21.