WESTBOROUGH – An anonymous complaint led to a $1,000 fine and a three-day license suspension for the Vape City Smoke Shop at 135 Turnpike Road.
According to the Board of Health, on Thursday, Nov. 17, Public Health Director Jennifer Sullivan and Health Inspector Maria Goncalves, in collaboration with the Tobacco Control Coalition, conducted a compliance check at Vape City. This check was initiated as a result of the receipt of an anonymous complaint.
A correction/cease and desist order was given to the owner who was found to be in violation of the state’s “An Act to Modernize Tobacco Control” and a code of Massachusetts regulations that outlines the minimum standards for the retail sale of tobacco and electronic nicotine delivery systems, which include vape pens and electronic cigarettes.
During the compliance check, the establishment was found to be in violation of:
- Offering for sale a flavored tobacco product or tobacco product flavor enhancer;
- Failure of a non-age-restricted retail establishment to maintain a record of the documentation submitted by the manufacturer or manufacturer’s agent certifying that an unflavored nicotine delivery product has a nicotine content of 35 milligrams per milliliter or less;
- Failure to maintain a record of the documentation submitted by the manufacturer or a manufacturer’s agent certifying that such tobacco product does not meet the definition of a flavored tobacco product or tobacco product flavor enhancer and that the product lacks any characterizing.
During this compliance check, approximately $40,000 worth of illegal product stored in the back room was located.
The owner of the establishment, Asim Jamal, admitted to selling these products. He has been fined $1,000 and received a suspension of the tobacco license for three days. The amount of illegal product confiscated meets the criteria of criminal charges with the Department of Revenue.
The Health Department confiscated all illegal products and will be turning it over to the Department of Revenue.
Vape City opened its first store in 2013, and currently has five locations, including in Marlborough, Holliston, Walpole, Taunton and Westborough.