Posted on Wednesday 27th July 2022
Stock image of a teen with vape
Operations to tackle the illegal sale of vapes and e-cigarettes in Staffordshire are underway following an increase in seizures.
Trading Standards officers with Staffordshire County Council are responding to a rise in the availability and sale of illegal and unregulated vape products across the county.
Since April 2022 officers have seized over 3,500 illegal vapes with a street value of £27,000. In the year 2021/22 a further 4,700 vapes were also seized, due to them being either oversized or counterfeit.
The colourful and flavoursome devices have also become a popular product amongst children and adults with nearly a third of 16-17 year olds are said to have tried a vape. People tend to think vapes are a healthier alternative to cigarettes however, this is far from the case.
As part of the crack down, Trading Standards are working with retailers to make sure that products are being sold responsibly. Anyone with information on the sale of illegal or counterfeit products in Staffordshire is asked to contact the Trading Standards confidential helpline on 01785330356.
Victoria Wilson, cabinet member responsible for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council said:
“Vapes and e-cigarettes are becoming more popular as an alternative to cigarettes but as this increases so does the frequency of illegal and counterfeit products.
“These products come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and a worrying trend Trading Standards are seeing is that the products are becoming more popular with children with increasing numbers trying them.
“Our officers are working hard to make sure retailers in Staffordshire are following the rules and removing any items that don’t comply. The service does rely on responsible businesses and members of the public for any information they have in relation to illegal trading. The information is used to target those who flout the rules and ensure these dangerous products are removed from sale.”
There are some tell-tail signs that products could be a fake or illegal. People should look out for Low prices, Unauthorised retailers, A promise of 1,500 puffs or more and if an e-cigarette and e-liquids containing nicotine isn’t certified by MHRA.