A THREE-MONTH closure order has been placed on a Wrexham shop following a "history of the supply illegal products".

Wrexham Magistrates court has issued the order closing the Wrexham Lifestyle shop at 106 Rhosddu Road until August 16. 

The application for the order was made by Trading Standards Officers from the Wrexham Council's Public Protection Service following what it said is history of the supply of illegal vaping products, illegal tobacco and the sale of alcohol at prices below the minimum unit price by the shop.

Test purchases and seizures of illegal products have been made over the past several years.

The council said officers have engaged on numerous occasions with the business to advise and warn with regard to illegal products and alcohol pricing. Despite this, recent test purchases of vapes show that the sale of illegal product continued.

On the same day the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) for the Off Licence at Wrexham Lifestyle was prosecuted by the authority for failing to make available CCTV recordings as required by the licence conditions. Rebar Mahmood pleaded not guilty but was found guilty by the magistrates and fined a total of £1702.

Vaping has increased in popularity over the past ten years and is widely recognised as an effective way to quit smoking tobacco. However, more recently there has been an explosion of interest in disposable vapes with people who have never smoked trying them out.

It is illegal to sell vape products to under 18s but in spite of this vapes have proved to be popular with young people and many of the products available are child appealing with sweet flavours and brightly coloured packaging. Some illegal products have even used the names of well known sweets to promote them.

Although much less harmful than smoking tobacco, using vapes is not risk free. For that reason the law imposes specific restrictions on disposable vapes with a maximum capacity and a maximum nicotine strength. There are also strict labelling requirements. Illegal vapes of the kind found at The Vape Shop were found to breach these restrictions presenting a significant potential threat to the health of people using them.

Roger Mapleson, Trading Standards and Licensing Lead, said: “The rapid rise in the use of vapes by people who have never smoked and their use by children is very concerning and it is good to see that UK and Welsh Government are actively considering new legislation to tackle the problem.

"The sale of illegal products and under priced alcohol in our community is of particular concern and we will not hesitate to use the legal powers we have to protect the health and wellbeing of our young people. I welcome the result of this action with the very practical impact of closing the premises for a considerable period of time."

Illegal tobacco is typically available at less than half the price of legitimate tobacco. This low price and the ease with which it can purchased by underage smokers makes it much easier for kids to get hooked and much harder for existing smokers to quite a highly addictive habit. Nearly 6000 people die in Wales every year of a smoking related disease and smoking is the single biggest cause of premature death in the UK and Wales.

Cheap, high strength alcohol is often consumed by children and vulnerable people. This puts these groups at significant risk to their health and wellbeing and can make them even more vulnerable. Minimum unit pricing works by targeting the cheapest and strongest products on the market without impacting prices in pubs and bars. The minimum unit price sets the minimum price that a bottle or can of alcohol can be sold for in Wales. Selling for less is against the law.