Deputies have charged six clerks for allegedly selling JUUL pods to customers under the age of 21 in an operation that focused on 33 businesses around Ashburn Station.
Authorities report six clerks sold to underage buyers at the following stores:
- Nash Vapes and Cigars – Creek View Plaza
- Tobacco Hut- Vape & CBD – Ashbrook Commons Plaza
- Exxon – Ryan Center Way
- Tobacco Hut & Vape Village – Broadlands Center Plaza
- Shell – Ice Rink Plaza
- Exxon – Flagstaff Plaza
The six clerks were issued a summons under a new Virginia law that took effect in July, which prohibits the purchase, possession, and sale of tobacco products, nicotine vapor products, and alternative nicotine products to persons under 21 years of age.
Eleven of the businesses already stopped selling vape products, according to the authorities. Nine businesses installed driver’s license scanners, which are used to validate the purchaser’s age.
“The operation sends a clear message to shop owners to take the appropriate steps to ensure tobacco, vape, and alcohol products are not making it into the wrong hands. It’s the law,” said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman.
Last year, the sheriff’s office launched an education campaign to warn parents and teenagers about the potential dangers of vaping.
A spokesperson with Nash Vapes & Cigars provided the following statement:
I’m very sad that such an event took place specially at our store, we are one of the stores who follow the Laws to the extend specially that we are tobacco business and the laws are very strict because it affects Health. we have trained our employees very well plus we have signage everywhere in the store. On many Occasions we have turned away many customers who do not provide ID ‘s or Not of a Legal age also since the Legal Age changed to 21 we have put papers out in the store stating the new Legal age and many customers have been lost since that but we are following the rules so this is our number priority. I got the news from my employee that he got a summons for selling to a minor and he stated that he asked for a that girl ID when she asked to purchase a vape device however he misread the year and Completed the purchase and then the Police came and gave him the summons. I believe that this was just a mistake and not bad behavior however, It’s very unfortunate specially that I personally been in the business for over 7 years and never has this happen to any of my stores plus I personally do my own security measure and check on my employees regularly to make sure that they are very careful and to Card everyone even if they look over the legal age. Since this is the first time I have to talk to my lawyer and see what we have to do as a result of this. And see how this will affect us.