Falkirk Council said an ongoing investigation by its Trading Standards team has found ‘shocking insight’ into how rogue retailers are selling vapes to people under the age of 18, contravening current legislation.
The undercover survey targeted four shops in the Falkirk area last month and discovered three out of the four were willing to sell items to underage young people.
The stores were given fixed penalties, the council said, adding that this particular response was led by intelligence offered by the public who alerted the team of their concerns.
A previous undercover survey in April targeted six shops, with five of them making underage sales.
The council said the Trading Standards team will continue its investigations this year as they have received allegations that children as young as 12 have been able to buy vape products from retailers in the Falkirk area.
The investigation comes on the back of a report earlier this month by the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards Officers in Scotland that showed that one in five retailers in Scotland were willing to sell to underage consumers.
“Our Trading Standards team will continue to clamp down on these illegal practices involving e-cigs and vapes,” Cllr Stacey Devine, spokesperson for Public Protection, said.
“The shops found to be selling illegally will be monitored and if they continue to breach the law, they could be banned from selling these products for up to two years.
“All premises were visited by officers before the test purchases operation and reminded of the requirements to operate an age verification policy and to ask for ID from anyone who looks under the age of 25.
“We will continue to protect the public in our operations but stress if any retailer needs advice, to get in touch with us.”
Those found to be breaching legislation can be given fixed penalties of up to £1,200 and banned from selling products for up to two years.