By Dan Walton

Pioneer Staff

A local store was in line with the law when it sold a personal vaporizer to a 12-year-old girl, but the customers mother wants that to change.

Regardless of the legality, those transactions shouldnt have happened, said parent Lindsay Birch.

If the law wont change, the store could at least have the decency to say no.

The vaporizers are used by inhaling steam from flavoured cartridges, allowing smokers to enjoy aspects of the habit while avoiding the tar, carbon monoxide, nicotine, heat and other byproducts resulting from burned tobacco. Some personal vaporizers contain nicotine, but the sale of those products are restricted to adults. Candy-flavoured personal vaporizers without nicotine have no age restrictions.

Last month, Ms. Birch discovered her 12-year-old daughter had in her possession a personal vaporizer with vanilla and cherry flavoured cartridges. The packaging claimed they were for adult use only. Her daughter said she had purchased them from Red Apple in Invermere.

A call by Ms. Birch to the store confirmed the transaction had taken place. Ms. Birch said an employee defended the stores policy.

There is no criteria as to who can buy the vaporizers at Red Apple, but store clerks use their discretion before allowing each sale, said store key holder Kendra Hall.

We base it on appearance, she said. I dont like to give them to anybody under 16.

As a result of Ms. Birchs concern, the Invermere Red Apple may change its policy at the local level, Ms. Hall said, which will depend on discussions with management.

Ms. Birch is aware of two other stores in the valley that carry the product, but said both refuse to sell to minors.