A CAMPAIGN has been launched to tackle the sales of e-cigarettes and refills to under 18s.

As part of ‘clamping down’ on the illegal sales, South Ayrshire Council’s Trading Standards team arranged for a 17-year-old volunteer to attempt to purchase e-cigarette refills from a premises in South Ayrshire.

During the operation, a shop in Ayr was caught trying to sell refills to the young volunteer and as a consequence, they were issued with a £200 fixed penalty notice.

Retailers across the county have been advised that test purchasing operations would take place following the changes to the legislation.

The changes mean that it is now illegal to sell e-cigarettes/refills to anyone under 18, to buy e-cigarettes/refills for someone under 18, all retailers selling tobacco or e-cigarettes/refills need to be registered, stores will need to have an age verification policy for sales of tobacco and e-cigarettes/refills and any person under 18 will not be able to sell these products unless authorised to do so.

Cllr Ian Cochrane, said: “We are continuing to work with retailers to prevent underage sales and protect the health of young people. I’m delighted the majority of retailers have robust procedures in place and well-trained staff.

“However this operation shows that some retailers may need to learn the hard way.

"The message is clear, if you fail to comply with legislation and are selling to under 18s, you could face a £200 fixed penalty or be reported to the Procurator Fiscal.”

If you have suspicions of anyone being involved in the supply of underage tobacco or e-cigarettes and refill sales or if you would like advice on compliance call  0300 123 0900 and ask for Trading Standards.