A teenager claims to have been illegally sold vaping products in Canterbury.
Sixth form student, Ant Fleming, has never been asked for I.D in an unnamed vape shop, but the legal age for sale of nicotine is 18.
After seeing school friends and people in public vaping, 17 year old St. Anselm’s Catholic School pupil wanted to follow the trend.
Fleming said: “I know I look old for my age, but I don’t look 25. I wanted to start vaping because the smoke clouds looked cool and the flavours smelt good.”
Manager of Premium Vapes, Rob Riddle, 34 has ensured he only serves people of the legal age.
Riddle said: “We make it part of our initial conversation with customers to pick out what their age is…I wouldn’t feel comfortable selling something to someone underage which they could then use to smoke themselves if they bought the tobacco.”
There are eight vaping shops in the city providing easy access to the product and promoting the trend.
Aaron Borda, 25, said: “There’s a lot of teenagers doing it now and a lot of my friends who started just vaping now smoke too.”
It has been suggested that the availability of vape has encouraged young people to pick up a habit and addiction they never had before.
Vaping was introduced as an alternative to smoking, providing nicotine to satisfy cravings without tobacco and other substances that could increase health risks.
Worker at Vaparettes, Canterbury, Sharon Gadd suffered a heart attack because of a blood clot caused by the effects of cigarettes.
Gadd said: “I had a stent fitted and am on medication for life… I am now on vape with no problems at all, had I still been smoking I probably would not be here.”
This YouTube video outlines the increase in vaping in teenagers is a worldwide issue
Kent County Council Trading Standards have issued statement about the shop serving underage people which said: “In this particular instance we would be unable to take action but Trading Standards would then make a decision depending on the past history of the shop.”
Listen to the interview with Premium Vapes manager, Rob Riddle here: