A shop assistant has been ordered to pay fines and costs after failing an underage shopper test in a sting by Trading Standards officers.

Faeem Aziz, 46, sold a strawberry-flavoured vape to a 15-year-old without challenging their age or asking them to provide any form of ID on April 14 at a shop in Orchard Street, Preston.

The sale of vapes is prohibited to anyone under the age of 18.

When interviewed, Aziz, of St Barnabas Place, Preston, admitted making the sale, saying the shop was busy, so he had only made a quick visual assessment of the buyer.

He admitted making a similar sale during a test purchase in 2022, which he also blamed on the shop being busy at the time.

Lancashire County Councillor Michael Green, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Children should not be able to buy products containing nicotine, which is a highly addictive substance.

“We regularly carry out test purchases at shops selling vapes and will prosecute anyone caught flouting the law.

“This case involves the seller. The business or business owner can also be prosecuted for the same sale in certain circumstances.

“Responsible businesses will undertake Challenge 25 checks, requesting identification for anyone appearing to be under 25 years of age and refusing sales to people who cannot provide valid identification.”

Aziz was fined £900 at Lancaster Magistrates’ Court on Monday, November 13.

Anyone wishing to report sales of vapes to young people can do so by contacting the Citizens Advice helpline on 0808 223 1133.