Barry Gottlieb owns the Traders Corner electronic cigarette shop in Mesnes Street, Wigan. Well, this is what was claimed in court but the store has all the appearance of a pawnbroker. Gottlieb had received numerous warnings from Wigan Council’s Trading Standards team in response to him selling to under-aged customers. Despite these warnings the team continued to receive a stream of allegations from members of the public.
Trading Standards officials engaged the services of willing 16-yr old volunteer to enter Traders Corner and attempt to make a purchase. It has been illegal for vendors to sell vaping products to Under-18s since the law was changed in October 2015. Gottlieb sold the vaping product to the teenager.
Consequently, Gottlieb was summoned to appear at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court – where he failed to attend. He failed to turn up and was sentenced to a fine of £440. In addition he was ordered to pay £316 in costs and a £44 victim surcharge. Gottlieb has been given twenty-eight days to pay the total fine of £800.
“We will always support and advise businesses in the first instance and it is disappointing that, despite receiving a number of advice visits from Trading Standards, Mr Gottlieb sold an e-cigarette to our young volunteer,” said Kevin Anderson, councillor and cabinet member for the environment.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and take robust enforcement action should we receive further complaints. We would encourage all retailers of e-cigarettes to be vigilant and responsible. Ask for proof of age from anyone who looks under 25. Businesses should also regularly use a refusals register when individuals attempt to buy e-cigarettes to record the event.”
Over in Nottingham multiCIG are being lauded by the local press for their response to the Tobacco Products Directive. With retail sales worth over £11-million last year they can hardly be called a small operation – but they are an independent firm fighting with tobacco companies in the cigalike sector. Their starter kit is distinctly Ego battery/Evod atomiser in nature but this hasn’t stood in their way.
The paper writes: “While the e-cigarette industry must now adapt in order to survive in this more challenging environment, brands such as multiCIG represent the future filling the void and providing a credible alternative to Big Tobacco.”
Do multiCIG really represent the future of vaping in Britain? How can smaller independent companies win in the face of the challenges that face them? Why not share your thoughts on the POTV forum.