Recently in County Durham, England a Vape shop owner was fined for selling an e-cigarette and nicotine e-liquid to a 12yr old. The most amazing thing about this story is that this retailer had already been warned by the authorities and yet still carried on selling e-cigarettes to under age kids. In fact the first time he was warned was because kids in school uniform were caught in his shop vaping!!
In addition to this, this criminal also sold the child a SMOK Vape Pen 22 with e-liquid that contained nicotine. So he has sold a straight to lung device to someone that has never smoked. I hate to think what would happen to a 12yr old if they got a lung full of vapour laced with Nicotine, this is actually a dangerous thing to do. At best the child could get dizzy at worst could even pass out!! This is highly irresponsible and I am surprised his shop wasn't shut down by Trading Standards.
Apart from the fact that this shop owner is clearly totally unscrupulous and a criminal, the harm this sort of publicity can do to the vape industry means that he is also extremely short sighted. The reason for this is that the industry is under constant scrutiny and publicity like this simply gives ammunition to the anti vape groups and politicians who are looking for excuses to bash the vape industry and in particular tighten up regulations.
He is also not a very good businessman. He got a £600 fine and I very much doubt he has made £600 profit from selling e-cigarettes to under age kids, and in fact I think he got off lightly.
If we want our industry to flourish we all need to be whiter than white! And yet there are reviewers doing there reviews to rap music and covered in bling, there are shops putting on vape trick shows to attract kids and now retailers blatantly selling e-cigarettes to kids. While I am sure there are plenty of retailers selling tobacco cigarettes to kids and getting caught, and that this has been going on for decades, they don't make headline news and there industry is not under the spotlight in the way that the vape industry is. So we all need to be professional and have the integrity required to carry this great industry of ours into the next decade. If we don't and there are many more stories like this one then we might not have an industry!!
On a more positive note I do believe there are a lot of us who want to see this industry flourish and we do it with integrity and professionalism. I for one would never sell to someone underage, plus I couldn't afford the fine so definitely not worth it, I also try to give the best advice I can in terms of providing the correct setup for the user, and certainly NOT a SMOK Vape Pen 22 to a kid!! If we aren't seen to be doing the right thing then there is a danger that we will be further regulated again, this would be bad for smokers, bad for vapers and bad for smokers thinking about quitting and switching to e-cigarettes.
If you want to read the full story of the prosecution you can find it here
If you want to see my YouTube rant you can get that here: