Tuesday 19 December

On 18th December 2023, Mr Safi Sanehy from Batley appeared at Kirklees Magistrates Court for selling a disposable e-cigarette containing nicotine to a person under the age of 18 from his business Sanehy Stores, 3A Harefield Drive, Batley WF170PQ. Mr Sanehy pleaded guilty to committing the offence under the Children and Families Act 2014 and was fined £550 reduced to £366 for a guilty plea. He was also ordered to pay a surcharge of £146 and costs of £1,000.


The business was known to West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service with the Service having received a complaint about the premises selling e-cigarettes to underage children. An advice letter was sent to the shop after the complaint was received explaining the business’s legal obligations and warning that a test purchase may be attempted.


In June 2023 a 14-year-old volunteer entered the shop, under the supervision of a Trading Standards Officer, and asked to buy a disposable e-cigarette. The underage volunteer was able to buy a Cherry flavoured Elf Bar 600, a disposable e-cigarette, for £6.00 without being challenged about his age or asked for any form of ID by the seller. It is an offence to sell e-cigarettes to a person under the age of 18.

Mr Sanehy was co-operative and assisted officers with their investigation. Mr Sanehy said that he could not deny the offence, he made a mistake and has learnt his lesson.


David Strover, Trading Standards Manager said, “the flagrant sale of vapes to children should not be happening within our communities. We wrote to this business to make them aware of complaints we had received and informed them a test purchase may follow. Shops need to ensure they have systems in place to avoid selling vapes to minors, and train their staff accordingly. The health risks associated with juvenile use of vapes should not be underestimated. Vapes are an adult product suitable for adult ex-smokers  – their sale to, and use by, children is not acceptable. I would like to thank all the partners and members of the public for reporting illegal sales and encourage everyone to continue doing so to reduce the harm caused by tobacco and vapes in our communities.”


Councillor Habiban Zaman, member of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee said “It is clearly irresponsible not to check the age of teenage customers wanting to purchase age restricted goods. Test purchases are undertaken regularly by trading standards staff to ensure shops adhere to the law on vapes, tobacco and alcohol sales. The simple task of asking for identification and verifying the age of younger customers will help to reduce underage vaping and tobacco use.”


Consumers wishing to report illegal trading practices, including the sale of age restricted goods to children, can call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 2231133 to report their concerns – this can be done anonymously.