Fines worth £1,500 issued after vape sold to a 14 year old

Poplar mini market

A company, shop worker and company director have been fined after a 14-year-old was sold a vape.

Vapes are only allowed to be sold to those over the age of 18.  Vaping can help adult smokers to quit, and poses significantly less risk than smoking tobacco. However, vaping is not risk-free. Due to the nicotine content and the unknown long-term harms, vaping carries risk of harm and addiction for children. Non-smokers and young people under 18 should not take up vaping.

In December last year, as part of a Trading Standards operation, a shop worker in Poplar Mini Market Ltd sold a vape to a 14 year old without asking for identification. The tobacco display in the shop was also left uncovered on two occasions.

On October 3 2023 at Thames Magistrates’ Court, the shop worker was fined £120 with a victim surcharge of £48 and £100 in costs. The company was fined £382 plus £153 in victim surcharges and £400 costs. Sheikh Shahinur Rahman, the director of the company, was fined £526, and made to pay £210 in victim surcharges and £200 costs.

Tower Hamlets Council’s Trading Standards Team regularly carries out operations where children try to buy age-restricted products, such as tobacco, knives and alcohol.

Cllr Abu Talha Chowdhury, Cabinet Member for Safer Communities, said:

“These checks are really important to prevent harm to our children as they stop them from being exposed to age-restricted products before they are old enough.

“Vaping still carries many health consequences for young people which is why it is an age restricted product. We as a council are working hard to highlight the risks of underage vaping and stop vapes being sold illegally.”

If you suspect a shop is selling cigarettes, vapes or any other age-restricted products to those under 18, please email Tower Hamlets Trading Standards on

If you want help to stop smoking, visit Stop smoking support (

Posted on Tuesday 17th October 2023