Kent officials have released shocking claims that children as young as 10 are reportedly being sold vapes.
According to a BBC report, Trading standards officers carrying out spot checks said children as young as 10 are reportedly being sold vapes.
“Some of the reports we’ve received talk about children as young as 10 [buying vapes], but we’ve also had reports of parents buying vaping products for children even younger than that,” the report quoted Kent County Council trading standards officer Oliver Jewell as saying.
UK law limits the amount of liquid nicotine in a vape to 2ml, which the industry markets as “600 puffs”. The report stated that some illegal products can offer up to “10,000 puffs”, with 10 times the legal limit of liquid.
Nearly half a million e-cigarettes that do not comply with UK law have been seized by officials in Kent within 18 months from 2022, BBC reported, adding that over 13,000 devices with nine times the legal amount of nicotine liquid were seized in a week at the port of Dover.
The body representing the industry is calling for more enforcement and bigger fines for retailers who sell to minors. Vapes can only be sold to people over the age of 18.
John Dunne, director general of the UK Vaping Industry Association, backed tougher enforcement on retailers.
“We want to see a minimum £10,000 fine for anybody selling vape products to minors. We also want to see vape retailers licensed,” he said.
A Department for Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We are taking bold action to end this practice through the £3m Illicit Vapes Enforcement Squad, which will tackle products imported and traded illicitly, remove illegal products from the market that don’t comply with our regulations, and tackle underage sales to children.”