Vapourwise has shops in Andover, Thatcham and Tilehurst, but it was the Thatcham branch that failed to comply with UK legislation when Trading Standards conducted a sting operation with a 15yr-old.
The company had previously been issued with a warning after someone under the age of 18 bought vape juice from them in 2018. The owners of Vapourwise were informed that Trading Standards would revisit at some point in the future and carry out a test purchase.
According to the court report, the 15yr-old girl was asked for ID but told staff she hadn’t got any on her and she was 18. After the shop assistant consulted with someone higher up, the purchase was allowed.
The owners of Vapourwise were found guilty at Reading Magistrates' Court, fined £800, ordered to pay £2,041.88 in court costs, and landed an £80 victim surcharge.
Berkshire’s Public Protection Partnership manager commented: “It is very important that retailers of age restricted products have robust proof of age policies in place and ensure they are adhered to. This includes asking for age verification identification in line with the retailer’s policy and refusing to sell where this cannot be provided.”
UK Vaping Industry Association spokesperson John Dunne said: “When will people learn? Hopefully this will wake some people up. Don’t sell vapes to minors, people, it’s not rocket science.”
Vapourwise started three years ago when the owner formed a company with friends because he had become “fed up with the poor quality tanks, devices and liquids”. The chain claims to have “friendly and knowledgeable staff”, growing the business “from a passion for wanting the best equipment and best juices.” They say: “We have by default become experts.”
Hopefully Vapourwise will learn from this experience and continue to blossom – vaping doesn’t need the bad publicity that results from selling products to underage buyers.