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Shopworker handed year-long ban after he sold vapes to children

A Chorley shopworker has been banned from selling tobacco and vapes for a year, following robust action by Lancashire's Trading Standards officers.

Abdullah Ahmed, 19, received the ban after Blackburn Magistrates were told that he had sold vapes to children on three occasions between June and September 2023. The sales all took place at Huff Puff & Candies, on Chapel Street in Chorley, which has since closed down. 

Ahmed, of Gilnow Road in Bolton, was handed a Restricted Sale Order, which prevents him from selling any tobacco or nicotine products, or any cigarette papers. He is also prohibited from holding any management position at premises where such products are sold.

This is the first RSO by Lancashire's Trading Standards team.

Ahmed's protests that a ban would prevent him from working in retail came to nothing as magistrates imposed the maximum 12-month ban available to them.

The ban comes on top of fines and costs of more than £700, imposed at Preston Magistrates' Court earlier this year, for making the three sales.

Separate proceedings against Ahmed's employer, Umar Abbas, also of Gilnow Road, Bolton, are currently adjourned for sentencing later this month.

Councillor Michael Green, cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing, hailed the strong action taken.

He said: "This is the first Restricted Sale Order we have obtained in our fight against traders who sell tobacco and vapes to children.

"Abdullah Ahmed was caught red-handed three times in as many months. His 12-month ban will give him plenty of time to reflect on his offending.

"Selling vapes and other tobacco products to children places them at significant risk of harm and this is totally unacceptable.

"Our Trading Standards team will always take the strongest action possible against those who openly break the law. We encourage anyone who has concerns about the sale of any age-restricted products to report these to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service helpline on 0808 223 1133."