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    Tooting shop fined again for selling vapes to children

    World Super Store, as seen on Mitcham Road in Tooting. (Photo: Google Earth via LDRS)

    By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter

    A store in Tooting has been fined over £7,000 after being caught selling vapes to children for a second time. The store, World Super Store Limited, reportedly sold vapes to a 15-year-old as part of a sting operation in June last year.

    Wandsworth Council said in a statement on 11 April that council officers also found 181 illegal single use vapes for sale at the shop on Mitcham Road. The vapes reportedly contained nicotine in amounts that were seven times the legal limit.

    The business pleaded guilty to four offences including selling oversized vapes and the underage sale at Lavender Hill Magistrates Court on March 26. The store reportedly claimed it had done all it could to prevent underage sales but could not provide any evidence of written training records. It also claimed it was unaware of the law governing vapes, which was introduced in 2016.

    A Lavender Hill Magistrates Court representative told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the store had been fined £7,277.20 in total from the incident. This included £3,377.20 of court costs, a victim surcharge of £1,400, as well as three £700 fines and a £400 fine for selling nicotine to a minor.

    The Tooting store previously had its licence to sell alcohol revoked for several breaches including selling booze and vapes to children in school uniforms. The business had also reportedly not maintained its CCTV system in working order and failed to keep a refusals log book, as well as selling very high strength beer and previously being in possession of illegal tobacco.

    James Armitage, head of the Regulatory Services Partnership at Wandsworth Council, said in a statement: “The owners of this business had not learned the lesson of their previous brush with the law on underage sales which cost them their drinks licence.”

    He added: “The law is very clear regarding the ban on selling vapes to young people under 18. We are pleased that the court recognised the seriousness of this case and imposed a hefty financial penalty. We hope this serves as a warning to other shops and businesses of the need to pay proper attention to the law and avoid selling very harmful products to children.”

    World Super Store Limited was approached for comment, but had not responded at the time of publication.

    (Local Democracy Reporting Service)

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