A corner shop has been slapped with a fine after selling illegal vapes.

West Berkshire Council's Public Protection Partnership has fined a Thatcham business and its director for the offence. 

Jagtar Singh Bajaj, a Director of Everyday Express Limited trading as Costcutter Store in Sagecroft Road, Thatcham stood on trial at Reading Magistrates Court on April 5 - alongside the business he represents.

Mr Bajaj and the company both entered guilty pleas to charges relating to the presenting for sale at retail level of 990 disposable electronic cigarettes exceeding the permitted capacity as set out in the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016.

Trading Standards officers visited the store on Sagecroft Road in Thatcham on February 3, 2023, to carry out an inspection following a complaint from a member of the public that the store was selling illegal disposable vapes.

The officers found 990 disposable electronic cigarettes containing liquid in a volume of between 4.5ml and 22m which exceeded the 2ml limits set out in the legislation. They seized around £5k worth of stock.

The business owner and his company were sentenced to pay total fines and costs amounting to £6,222.

Mr Bajaj was fined £230 plus a victim surcharge of £92 and a £2230 contribution towards the prosecution costs. The company was fined £1000 plus a victim surcharge of £400 and £2250 towards the prosecution costs.

The Magistrate had taken the guilty pleas into account when setting the fines. A forfeiture order was made for the destruction of all infringing devices seized.

Sean Murphy Service Lead for Public Protection: “Although vaping is considered safer than smoking traditional tobacco products it is important that legal controls and standards are complied with.

"Our Trading Standards Officers work hard to ensure that the vapes that are sold in the PPP areas meet the legal requirements as part of a wider strategy relating to the controls on vapes.”

West Berkshire Council added: "Anyone with concerns about the sale of illegal vapes or vapes to being sold to people under age can contact the service on 01635 519930 or e-mail: tsadvice@westberks.gov.uk."

E-cigarettes are regulated by the government, which has set out seven requirements which must be met ahead of sale.

This includes a restricted e-cigarette capacity of no more than 2ml and a refill container to 10ml.

Nictonine strength must not surpass 20mg/ml and packaging must be child-resistant and tamper-evident.

Colourings, caffeine and taurine are banned ingredients.

All vapes must meet labelling requirements and warnings and be documented to the MHRA before they can be sold.