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Crackdown continues as illegal vapes sold to underage shoppers

Published: Friday, 10th November 2023

Three local traders under investigation as Trading Standards officers carry out under age test purchasing of vapes.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Trading Standards team carried out an intelligence-led, under-age sales test purchasing exercise recently across the city visiting nine premises with young volunteers attempting to purchase vapes.

Whilst the city council is pleased to report that six businesses complied with the law and acted responsibly to prevent underage sales, it is worrying that three traders failed the test, and that illegal vapes and shisha were also being stocked and supplied at two of the premises.

The majority of the disposable products seized contained oversized tanks, where products were advertised with as much as ‘9,000 puffs’ on its packaging. The UK Government has restricted e-cigarette tanks to a capacity of no more than 2ml where on average would provide around 600 puffs.

Councillor Jane Ashworth, Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council said: “The efforts of our Trading Standards officers and volunteers were instrumental in achieving these substantial results. However, it is disappointing to see that three traders failed to comply by the laws and regulations in selling illegal products.

“The city council is committed to continuing its work to create a safe and healthy environment for all its residents. We urge everyone in the city to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities related to the sale or distribution of counterfeit and illegal goods”.

If any residents or businesses have concerns over the supply or sale of illegal tobacco or vapes they can report to the trading standards team on 0808 223 1133, visit or call our Trading Standards hotline on 01782 238884.

In addition, residents can download the free NHS Quit Smoking app or can access a range of support and advice that is available locally. Support is also available for tobacco users who are planning on using e-cigarettes to help to quit. For more information go to or contact the quit smoking service directly on 0808 169 1869.