Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser

Trading Standards warn shopkeeper­s


North Lanarkshir­e Council’s Trading Standards service has warned shopkeeper­s it will take action against them if they are found to be selling tobacco, nicotine vaping products or fireworks to underage customers.

In a recent test purchase exercise across 20 shops, underage customers were able to buy cigarettes, vaping products or fireworks on five occasions without being asked for proof of age.

Businesses are now being reminded that they must ensure they do not sell these products to under-18s. Most businesses do this by operating a Challenge 25 policy.

If a customer looks under the age of 25, proof of age is required, and staff must be trained to verify the customer’s age before selling age-restricted products.

Councillor Michael Mcpake, Trading Standards convenor, told the Advertiser: “Over the years we have found the majority of businesses selling agerestric­ted products are abiding by the law and helping to keep children safe.

“However, there are still shopkeeper­s who are not checking proof of age and the test purchase exercises we run help to identify those who are not acting responsibl­y.”

Paul Bannister, protective services manager, added: “Simply asking a customer how old they are is not enough.

“Sellers must ask for, and be shown, valid and recognised photo ID, such as a passport, a photograph­ic driving licence or a proof of age scheme approved card, to prevent illegal sales of age restricted products.

“We recommend this is asked for whenever a customer looks under 25.

“We’ll continue to carry out checks and test purchases and we’re determined to crack down on businesses flouting the law.”

The number of test purchases made in North Lanarkshir­e will now be increased by Trading Standards over the next 12 months.

Businesses who would like advice on underage sales can contact Trading Standards on tradingsta­ndards@

In addition, any member of the public who suspects a trader is selling tobacco, solvents, alcohol or other age restricted products to under-18s, can also contact the council to provide informatio­n in confidence.

 ?? North Lanarkshir­e Trading Standards manager Paul Bannister ?? Continuing checks
North Lanarkshir­e Trading Standards manager Paul Bannister Continuing checks

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