A number of retailers in North Lanarkshire have been fined for failing electronic cigarette (e-cig) test purchasing stings.

Trading Standards teams carried out 14 visits to a range of independent and symbol group stores in the area, with 36% of retailers caught selling illegally to under 18s.

Five retailers were issued with fixed penalty notices of £200.

The test purchase operation followed an education campaign by trading standards officers to re-emphasise the age-limit for e-cigs which was introduced back in 2015.

“It is disappointing that some retailers did not check the age of customers and then sold the products illegally,” said councillor Michael McPake, convener of the Infrastructure Committee.

“They were given information about the rules so there’s no excuse for selling to young people under the age of 18.

“Although it’s recognised that vapour products are safer than cigarettes and they can help people to stop smoking, using these products could encourage children to try cigarettes. So it is vital that retailers don’t sell the vaping products to under 18s.

“We will continue to monitor sales of nicotine vapour items and enforce the legislation among local retailers,” he added.