Milano Market: Wakefield shop and owner guilty of selling illegal e-cigarette to 14-year-old child

A Wakefield shop has been fined over £3,000 for selling an illegal e-cigarette to a 14-year-old.
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Milano Market Ltd, which has a store on Kirkgate, and the company director Mehran Rostami from Sheffield were due to appear at Kirklees Magistrates Court on February 29.

They were charged with selling an oversized electronic cigarette to a 14-year-old child. The electronic cigarette was illegal as it was oversized, containing more than the permitted 2ml of nicotine liquid.

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No representatives for either party attended the hearing and in their absence the magistrates found them guilty. The company was fined £1,100 and imposed a victim surcharge of £440. The Magistrates also ordered that the prosecution costs of £2,089.58 were split evenly between the company and Rostami. 

Mehran Rostami of Sheffield was due to appear at Kirklees Magistrates Court to answer the charges of selling an oversized electronic cigarette to a 14-year-old childMehran Rostami of Sheffield was due to appear at Kirklees Magistrates Court to answer the charges of selling an oversized electronic cigarette to a 14-year-old child
Mehran Rostami of Sheffield was due to appear at Kirklees Magistrates Court to answer the charges of selling an oversized electronic cigarette to a 14-year-old child

The case was launched after West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service received a complaint about the premises allegedly selling vapes to children.

In August 2023, a 14-year-old volunteer entered the shop under the supervision of a Trading Standards Officer, and bought a cotton candy flavoured e-cig for £10, without being asking for identification.

Mr Rostami was interviewed at a later date where he took full responsibility for the underage sale and said he was not aware of the maximum volume permitted for disposable electronic cigarettes. 

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David Strover, trading standards manager at Business Services Team said: "The flagrant sale of vapes to children should not be happening within our communities.

"We wrote to these businesses to make them aware of complaints we had received and informed them a test purchase may follow.

"The health risks associated with juvenile use of vapes should not be underestimated.

"Shops need to ensure they have systems in place to avoid selling vapes to minors and train their staff accordingly."

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Councillor Melanie Jones, chair of West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee which oversees the work of Trading Standards said: “It is clearly irresponsible not to check the age of teenage customers wanting to purchase age restricted goods.

"Test purchases are undertaken regularly by Trading Standards staff to ensure shops adhere to the law on vapes, tobacco and alcohol sales.

"The simple task of asking for identification and verifying the age of younger customers will help to reduce underage vaping and tobacco use.”

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