Taranaki vape shop caught selling to underage customer

A recent sting targeting Taranaki vape retailers uncovered a store that was selling nicotine-containing juice to an underage teenager.

Of the 16 visited by the area’s public health unit as part of a planned sting, Shosha Waitara was the only one who failed in her duty not to sell to anyone under the age of 18.

In the case of Shosha Waitara, vape juice containing nicotine was sold to a 14-year-old.

The store, which is on the main street of Waitara, only recently opened.

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Carly Stevenson, the unit’s tobacco control officer, said it was illegal to sell vapes to children.

A retailer caught selling vaping products to someone under the age of 18 would be referred to the Department of Health, who would consider what action to take, she said.

A Taranaki vape shop could face a fine after being arrested in a recent sting operation.  (file image)

A Taranaki vape shop could face a fine after being arrested in a recent sting operation. (file image)

This could be a notice of violation, along with a $200 fine and/or prosecution.

Stevenson said ID should be requested if the purchaser is under 25 and companies should be aware of their obligations when selling vaping products.

The unit will continue to monitor vaping retailers that have a form to sell to underage buyers and will continue to conduct future sting operations.

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