West Belfast shop banned from selling tobacco products after illegal sales to children

Fitzy's shop on the Falls Road
-Credit: (Image: Streetview)

A West Belfast shop has been banned from selling tobacco and nicotine products for two months after it was found to have sold the items to under 18s.

Fitzys on the Falls Road in the city was taken to court by Belfast City Council after it had received complaints about tobacco and nicotine products being sold to children.

Tobacco Control Officers from the local council carried out a visit to the premises, where it was established that it had been selling the products to those under 18, and that it was not registered to sell tobacco products at all.

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At a sitting of Belfast Magistrates Court on Tuesday June 11, shop owner Gerard Fitzpatrick was ordered to pay £242 legal costs as well as the two-month ban.

A statement from Belfast City Council said: "A Belfast shop, owned by Gerard Fitzpatrick, has received a two-month ban from selling tobacco and nicotine inhaling products (including e-cigarettes / vapes) at Belfast Magistrates Court today (Tuesday 11 June 2024). Mr Fitzpatrick was also ordered to pay £242 legal costs.

"The application for a Restricted Premises Order was taken by Belfast City Council against Fitzys at 212a Falls Road, for non-compliance with tobacco control legislation.

"Following complaints made to Belfast City Council, Tobacco Control Officers carried out visits to the premises. Test purchasing confirmed the shop was selling cigarettes and nicotine inhaling products to under 18s.

"Under the Tobacco Retailers Act (Northern Ireland) 2014, it is illegal for a retailer to sell either tobacco products or nicotine inhaling products (including e-cigarettes/ vapes) to anyone under the age of 18. It was also established that Fitzys was not registered to sell tobacco products.

"This is the third such case taken by Belfast City Council in 2024 to ban shops that have been illegally selling tobacco products and nicotine inhaling products."

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