A trader who operates across a number of markets around Wiltshire, including Salisbury, has pleaded guilty to selling an age-restricted product to a child.
Anthony Rose, who lives in Salisbury and who is the sole director of AN Rose Ltd, pleaded guilty at Salisbury Magistrates Court on 11 April to the charge of selling a disposable e-cigarette to an under 18 trading standards volunteer at his market stall in August 2022 without asking for proof of age identification.
Mr Rose had previously been warned that he would be subject to a test purchase at his stall following a visit from trading standards officers in February 2022, following a complaint that he was selling age-restricted products to children. At the time, he was given advice about how to prevent future illegal sales.
However, during the test purchase, a 16-year-old was able to buy a disposable e-cigarette for £6.
Mr Rose was fined a total of £701.96, including costs.
Cllr Nick Holder, cabinet member for Public Protection, said: “As per our Business Plan, we want to promote our safe, compliant and successful traders as examples to others. It is illegal to sell vaping products to anyone under the age of 18.
“We have seen a large increase in vaping products being sold to children, with the products available at pocket money prices and regularly featured on social media channels.
“Trading standards officers work to enforce legislation which prohibits the sale of all age-restricted goods, such as tobacco, alcohol and e-cigarettes, and as this case shows, anyone found doing so could be prosecuted. Penalties can include a fine or even imprisonment.
“Businesses have a responsibility to ensure that staff do not sell age-restricted products to people under the legal minimum age. Effective systems that can be used include, age verification checks with ID cards, Challenge 21 or Challenge 25, staff training and using till prompts.”
If you suspect a business is selling age-restricted products to children you can report it by email to email@example.com or by phone at 0808 223 1133.