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Business owner prosecuted for selling disposable e-cigarette to a child

A Wiltshire business owner has been prosecuted after selling a disposable e-cigarette to a child.

Published 27 February 2024

A Wiltshire business owner has been prosecuted after selling a disposable e-cigarette to a child.

At a hearing held today (Tuesday 27 February), at Salisbury Magistrates Court, Antonio Baker Versace, 55, of Bournemouth pleaded guilty to selling a disposable e-cigarette to a trading standard's volunteer under the age of 18. The 15-year-old volunteer purchased the Pink Grapefruit Lost Mary device for £5 from Mario's Pizza, High Street, Royal Wootton Bassett. Mr Versace failed to ask the volunteer for identification or proof of age.

In court, Mr Versace (also formerly known as Mario Tony Baran) was given a fine of £293, with a £117 surcharge and £700 costs.

Wiltshire Trading Standards has recently seen a large increase in the number of complaints of vaping products being sold to children.

Cllr Nick Holder, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection said: There is a growing concern amongst our Trading Standards officers about e-cigarettes being sold to underage children. This prosecution shows that we are acting on our Business Plan commitment to safeguard our residents from harm and tackle businesses that aren't complying with the law.

Vapes are being sold at pocket money prices, in bright packaging and flavours which young people will find appealing. Unfortunately, promotion on social media channels has also helped to make these products more visible.

We encourage people to report the sale of age restricted products to children by calling Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

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