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    Wiltshire shop owner to pay over £1000 after selling vape to a child

    Photo: iStock

    By Jessica Moriarty, Local Democracy Reporter

    A Wiltshire business owner will have to pay over £1000 after he sold a disposable e-cigarette to a child.

    The incident occurred at Mario’s Pizza, on Royal Wootton Bassett’s high street.

    A 15-year-old volunteer purchased the Pink Grapefruit Lost Mary vape for £5 and was not asked for identification or proof of age.

    55-year-old Antonio Baker Versace, from Bournemouth, pleaded guilty to selling a disposable e-cigarette to someone under the age of 18 at a hearing held on Tuesday, February 27, at Salisbury Magistrates Court.

    He ​was given a fine of £293, with a £117 surcharge and £700 costs.

    According to Wiltshire Council, Wiltshire Trading Standards has recently seen a large increase in the number of complaints of vaping products being sold to children.

    Councillor Nick Holder, cabinet member for public protection, said: “There is a growing concern amongst our Trading Standards officers about e-cigarettes being sold to underage children.

    “This prosecution shows that we are acting on our business plan commitment to safeguard our residents from harm and tackle businesses that aren’t complying with the law.

    “Vapes are being sold at pocket money prices, in bright packaging and flavours which young people will find appealing.

    “Unfortunately, promotion on social media channels has also helped to make these products more visible.

    “We encourage people to report the sale of age restricted products to children by calling Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133”.

    (Local Democracy Reporting Service)

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