Two vape stores in the Town of Tonawanda are facing fines following a sting operation conducted by the Town of Tonwanda Police Department. Planet Vape on Brighton Road and Vape Linq on Elmwood Avenue were caught selling liquid nicotine or tobacco products to a decoy younger than 18-years-old.
Because of the increasing popularity of vaping among young people, Lt. Thomas Haynes said it has become even more important for law enforcement to crackdown on underage sales.
“If someone is willing to sell it to them, let’s face it – when we were kids we all knew where that store was,” Haynes said. “If they’re creating a reputation in the school population, then it’s going to spread by word of mouth, and social media being what it is. Certainly the kids that are interested in that sort of thing will go to those stores.”
This is the second time within just a few months that Vape Linq has been cited for selling liquid nicotine to minors. Haynes said these stores face fines and possibly even larger consequences when they do this.
“The fines are going to range in hundreds of dollars. They’re going to face possible suspension and, or, revocation of their licenses to sell vape products,” Haynes said.
Vape shops, Haynes said, should be diligent when it comes to checking ID’s – especially making sure each ID is legitimate.
“Take a good look, because ultimately it’s going to fall on you, the vendor,” he said. “And, again, if you’re not doing business as you should, we’re going to continue to look into it.”
The employees at the two locations were issued appearance tickets for violation of the public health law, prohibiting sales of tobacco or nicotine products to minors.