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12,000 illegal disposable vapes seized in Bolton

March 24, 2024

Illegal vapes seized in Bolton (Photo: Bolton Council)

By: Chris Gee, Local Democracy Reporter

Around 12,000 illegal, disposable vapes have been seized in raids on shops in Bolton. A team of officers from Bolton Council Trading Standards dedicated to tackling illicit products have in the past six months, seized the vapes from businesses across the borough.

The council said the vapes are typically bought by traders for around £6 per device, and sold for between £10-£13 each. The council is particularly worried about school age children getting hold of the products.

Illegal vapes have been found in a variety of places within premises, with some displayed at point of sale and others locked in stockrooms. Just under 3,000 illegal vapes were seized from one proprty alone.

Businesses raided, which have not been named, include convenience stores, off-licences, mobile phone shops and petrol stations. The premises are now being further investigated and may be subject to prosecution and possible closure orders.

All vapes seized have now been sent for recycling.

Under new legislation announced by the government, enforcement officers’ powers will also be strengthened with ‘on the spot fines’ of £100 to uphold the new laws and clamp down on underage sales of tobacco and vaping products. This builds on a maximum £2,500 fine that local authorities can already impose.

“Illegal vapes are unregulated and often contain illegal ingredients which can damage the health of adults and children,” Cllr Sue Haworth, Bolton Council’s executive cabinet member for regulatory services, said.

“We continue to look at enforcement options like closure orders that will deliver a long-term solution to combating the problem. “Since May 2023, we have formally issued three cautions to illegal traders and have sent 50 warning letters for non-compliant vapes and illicit tobacco.

“Tackling the sale of illegal vapes continues to be a priority for this council.”

(Local Democracy Reporting Service)