Trading Standards officers in Nottingham have seized illegal vaping products – some containing five times the legal amount of nicotine and e-liquid.
Nottingham City Council officers bagged up hundreds of branded vape bars, with a street value close to £8,000, during an operation involving eight separate premises across the city.
The average product carried up to 1,500 uses – the equivalent of smoking more than 50 cigarettes. One particular brand of the disposable, single-use vapes seized was equal to more than 100 cigarettes.
Illegal vapes are often fruit-flavoured and brightly coloured to make them more attractive to children. It is illegal to sell these products to under 18s but super-strength vapes pose another level of risk to all users.
They are unregulated and there is no way of knowing what other toxic substances they may contain.
Environmental concerns were also highlighted around the waste battery aspect of the devices, millions of which are imported every year – mostly from China.
In total, 1,103 disposable vaping devices were removed from sale as they were either not labelled correctly in accordance with the TARP Regulations, did not contain sufficient CLP regulation information, had a capacity of over the legal limit of 2ml or had not been published or regulated by the MHRA.*
Councillor Neghat Khan, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Inclusion at Nottingham City Council, said: “Trading Standards treat the sale of nicotine vaping products as a high priority, especially where children are concerned.
“The rapid expansion of this market for disposable nicotine devices is worrying and presents real risks to the environment and health, especially that of young people.”
Paul Dales, Chief Environmental Health Officer at Nottingham City Council, said: “Our officers found a wide range of non-compliant vaping devices, with both safety and health risks.
“While some people use vaping to quit smoking, there is a real risk that these products can attract young people into experimentation and addiction. The current craze with disposable, brightly-coloured and flavoured e-cigarettes can be child appealing and that is unacceptable.
“Parents may not realise their children are vaping these unsafe devices. They are attractively coloured and closely resemble highlighter pens or make-up products. They usually cost from £5 to £7 each.”
For further information on illicit tobacco and vapes and how to report it, please visit Illegal Tobacco and the Fake Campaign – Nottingham City Council
Trading Standards can be contacted via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.
* TARP = Tobacco and Related Products; CLP = The Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Chemicals; MHRA = Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency