Shopkeeper fined

Midlothian Council Trading Standards team issued fixed penalty notices to a shopkeeper and his employer for selling a nicotine-based ‘vape’ product to a young person under 18.

Acting on tip-off

The council staff were acting on a tip off that a shop in Midlothian was selling vapes to school children.

Acted immediately

When test surveillance confirmed the sales, trading standards officers took immediate action.  

Endangering young people's health

Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for trading standards, Councillor Stuart McKenzie said: “It’s abhorrent that shopkeepers are endangering the health of young people and profiting from doing so.

Aware of law

“They are well aware of the law, which prohibits the sale of tobacco and nicotine products, including vapes, to young people under the age of 18.


“Quite frankly anyone caught doing this and fined up to £200 in the first instance is getting off lightly.”


The penalties include a fine up to £2500 which can escalate with repeat offences and may result in a banning order from selling tobacco and/or vapes. The owner of the business can be held responsible as well as the member of staff who made the sale. 

Get in touch

Cllr Stuart McKenzie said anyone with any information about shops or individuals selling vapes, tobacco or nicotine products illegally should contact trading standards immediately.

Email and phone

To do so please email or telephone 0131 271 3556.

You can help

The council intends to do more of these surveillance operations. If you are a parent/guardian of a young person aged between 16 years and 16 and 6 months (or they will be in the next 12 months) then contact trading standards. Your young person could help in similar operations and gain work experience in a supervised, enforcement role.

19 May 2023