Shopkeepers are being advised to make sure they are trained up before laws about e-cigarettes are introduced in October.

They could face fines of thousands of pounds under the new laws if they sell the products to children.

The law will extend to all vaping products and parts, including replacement cartridges and refills containing nicotine.

Croydon’s trading standards team runs a Do you pass? training scheme to ensure traders and their staff are fully aware of the rules for the sale of age-restricted products.

The course, which will cover the new law, is offered free of charge and is available only to Croydon-based businesses.

Councillor Mark Watson, safety and justice cabinet member, said: “This is an area in which unsuspecting traders – particularly small, independent businesses – could, without the appropriate training, easily fall foul of the law.

“They should bear in mind the fact that our trading standards team carries out regular test-purchasing operations, and anybody caught flouting the law could find themselves in court and thousands of pounds the poorer.

“I’d strongly recommend any small Croydon business to take advantage of the free Do you pass? business training we offer.

"It focuses on the prevention of illegal underage sales with emphasis on the requirements of the law, diligence and proxy sales.”

Call 020 8407 1311 for more information and to book a place on the course.