January 7, 2022
A major haul of illegal vapes, allegedly targeted at children, have been removed from more than 43 stores in Teesside during a six week crackdown.
Middlesbrough council on Tuesday (4) said that it’s Trading Standards team has seized and removed thousands of potentially dangerous vaping devices from sale.
The seized vapes are typically in brightly coloured packaging and with flavours and names such as strawberry or banana milkshake, Unicorn Shake and Tiger Blood to appeal to children and young people, the council said.
During the crackdown, the Trading Standards team have been told that retailers are being approached by “mobile sellers who are selling the e-cigarettes from vans”.
Products removed from sale include the brands Elf, Solaz, Voopoo, Elux 3500 puffs, Hipster Glow 2000 puffs and Hipster 2600 puffs, which are illegal in relation to their design, labelling and nicotine content, the council said, adding that many are also not registered with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority, while others were also found to be counterfeit.
Noteworthy here is it is illegal to sell nicotine inhaling products and refills – popularly known as e- cigarettes – to anyone under 18, and it is also illegal for anyone to purchase them on their behalf.
All tobacco products including e-cigarettes and vape products must comply with stringent tobacco control laws that require products and their packaging to comply with specific labelling including health warnings and product controls.
Any disposable e-cigarette, single-use cartridge or tank with a nicotine-containing liquid must have a maximum volume of 2ml and there must be no more than 20mg per ml of nicotine in any liquid in an e-cigarette or refill container.
Some of the seized products had tank sizes up to three times the legal limit as well as incorrect labelling, with devices lacking information including sufficient health warnings or the details of a UK-based manufacturer or importer who can be contacted in the event of a safety issue.
In an attempt to avoid detection some products did not display the nicotine content of the product.
Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “Stamping out smoking is one of the best things we can do to improve public health, and legal vapes and e-cigarettes have played a major role in that fight in recent years.
“But they need to be as safe as they can be, and we need to protect children from unscrupulous traders.
“This is a fantastic operation by Trading Standards that sends out a clear message that retailers have a duty to protect their customers – and especially young people – from harmful products.”