Hayes shopkeeper fined for selling e-cigarettes to children

Tuesday 14 February 2023: Ravi Kumar, of RK Convenience Store, 1182 Uxbridge Road, Hayes pleaded guilty at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court for selling a nicotine inhaling product to a person under the age of 18 (in breach of Regulation 3 of The Nicotine Inhaling Products (Age of Sale and Proxy Purchasing) Regulations 2015).

High court
Last August, during an undercover operation conducted by the council's trading standards team, a child aged 13 entered RK Convenience Store and successfully purchased an Elf Bar 600 disposable vape from Kumar. 

The court also heard that the store had been the subject of an investigation in March 2022 following a report from a member of the public that they had been selling vaping devices to children. 

Following this incident, Kumar had received a written warning from the council and training materials to help him comply with the law surrounding age-restricted products. 

When handing down the sentence, the magistrates gave the defendant credit for his guilty plea but noted that he had failed to adhere to the guidance provided by the council.

In total, Kumar has been ordered to pay £1,364 which includes a fine of £403, victim surcharge of £161 and the council's costs of £800.  

Cllr Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Residents' Services, said: "I urge all businesses to make sure they are aware of and comply with the relevant legislation regarding sales to children.

"Vapes should only ever be used as an aid for adults to quit smoking. The evidence suggests that vaping is by no means risk-free and that's why we're doing everything we can to stop our young people getting access to and using e-cigarettes.

"Retailers who are caught flouting the law and selling any under-age product to children will be taken to court and our trading standards team will push for the toughest sentences."

It is illegal to sell vapes to under-18s. Vapes and e-cigarettes and their refill containers are regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and must comply with tank capacity and nicotine strength limits, while their labels must display manufacturer details and health warnings.

If you suspect a business is selling age-restricted products to under-18s, you can contact the council by emailing tradingstandards@hillingdon.gov.uk or calling 01895 250164 (Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm). 

Page last updated: 27 Jul 2023