Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Trading Standards Team has removed 5,000 illegal vapes, worth around £66,000 from the market since April 2022.
The vapes have been seized as part of ongoing inspections and test purchasing exercises being carried out at premises across the City. Illegal vapes include those with illegal tank sizes containing too much vaping liquid, and incorrect labelling.
In some cases vapes sold as ‘zero nicotine’ have been found to actually contain nicotine, with it being listed as an ingredient on the label. This is becoming an increasing problem and genuine traders could be caught out.
Vaping devices are highly regulated by the government to control the amount of nicotine. They also have to be approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency. The legal capacity of a disposable e-cigarette tank is 2ml or approximately 650 puffs.
Councillor Carl Edwards, cabinet member for housing and environment, said: “I would urge traders to be on the lookout for these vapes falsely sold as zero nicotine. These products are illegal and cannot be sold. Always check the ingredients of these products on both the outer packet and inner label or leaflet.
“Our team regularly carry out inspections and test purchases to check that premises are following their legal requirements. Businesses should take precautions to check the products they plan to buy carefully to avoid financial loss.
“We will always take action against anyone found to be involved in the storage, distribution or supply of illegal vapes. The message is clear – you will face consequences if you deal in illegal vapes.”
To report premises selling illegal vapes or tobacco products contact our Trading Standards team on 0808 223 1133 or visit www.adviceguide.org.uk