Crackdown on underage sales of vapes

Published: Friday, 3 November 2023

Havering Council’s licensing and trading standards teams have been out across the borough to prevent local retailers selling vapes and other age-restricted goods to young people aged under 18.

The latest operation in Collier Row, Hornchurch, Upminster and Romford took place last week.

The teams visited different premises with teenage volunteers helping officers by going into the businesses to attempt to buy a vape, also known as e-cigarettes.

These can only be sold to someone over 18.

All seven businesses visited on that particular operation, refused to sell an e-cigarette to the young volunteer.

If a business is found to be selling age-stricted goods to those underage, they are issued with warnings if it is a first offence.

Council officers will then work with them to support on training and complying to regulations. 

All businesses are re-visited and any further failures may result in a review of their licence or prosecution.

Councillor Ray Morgon, Leader of Havering Council, said:

“We’re pleased to see that our local businesses are helping to keep our young people safe and not sell goods such as vapes to those underage.

“We will continue to carry out these visits to businesses to ensure that this is the case going forward. 

“Our businesses should know that we will take the strongest action on those that don’t comply and if necessary, prosecute.

"We also offer support and guidance to all our businesses to help them comply.”

The Council’s licensing and trading standards also work with businesses to encourage them to sign up to the Challenge 25 Scheme.

Challenge 25 is a scheme that encourages anyone who is over 18 but looks under 25 to carry acceptable ID when they want to buy alcohol.