Shop becomes first in the borough ordered to close for selling vapes to children
A shop has been forced to close for three months following a court order as part of a wider crackdown across Wigan Borough on the illegal selling of vapes to children.
Traders Corner, of 22 Mesnes Street, Wigan, was ordered to close for three months at Tameside Magistrates Court last week.
This follows enforcement action by Wigan Council, supported by Greater Manchester Police, after the shop persistently illegally sold e-cigarettes to children.
Councillor Paul Prescott, cabinet portfolio holder for planning, environmental services and transport, said “Despite previous successful prosecution and substantial fines of over £3,800, we continued to receive an unprecedented level of complaints about this shop selling e-cigarettes to children illegally.
“With our Trading Standards team determined to take action, we have successfully obtained the first Closure Order on a Wigan borough shop for illegally selling e-cigarettes to children; and we are one of the first authorities in the country to take this action.
“This shop will now be closed for three months; the maximum amount allowed under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, alongside costs of over £1,400 which they have been ordered to pay.
“With the summer holidays now here, this action will help to protect our children from being able to access these products illegally.
“Our Trading Standards Team will continue to proactively tackle traders that put our communities at risk. Anyone wishing to report underage sales of vapes or other Trading Standards issues can ring in confidence 0808 223 1133 or Regulation@wigan.gov.uk”
Nationwide, there is concern that e-cigarettes are being marketed to teenagers who do not smoke rather than adults who are trying to quit smoking.
A recent survey by Trading Standards North West showed a big increase in young people vaping with 14 per cent claiming to have vaped more than once a week, compared to six per cent in 2020.
Earlier in July, elected members approved a motion to support Trading Standards with their crackdown on the illegal sales of vapes to children.
Neighbourhood Inspector for Wigan Abby Astle said: “This three-month closure is the result of partnership work between Trading Standards and Wigan Neighbourhood teams.
“Greater Manchester Police will continue to work with partners to tackle shops that sell e-cigarettes to children.
“Here in Wigan, we are working towards a number of priorities in the area that are of concern to local residents such as, anti-social behaviour, the supply of drugs, anti-social crime on our roads and in our neighbourhoods.
“This closure is the start of something bigger, and the message is clear, we will not tolerate this kind of behaviour in Wigan.
“If anyone has any information regarding criminality in their area, it should be passed on to the Police via 101 or through the Live Chat function on our website, GMP Police site (external link).
“Alternatively, the independent charity - Crimestoppers - can be contacted on 0800 555 111.”
Posted on Wednesday 2nd August 2023