Upcoming: Vape Business Award TBC
Home News Middlesbrough store shut after raid uncovers illegal vapes worth £15,000

Middlesbrough store shut after raid uncovers illegal vapes worth £15,000

June 9, 2023

Johns News on Linthorpe Road in Middlesbrough (Photo: Google Street View)

A newsagents in Middlesbrough has been forced to shut down after it was caught selling illegal vapes.

According to local reports, Johns News on Linthorpe Road in Middlesbrough has been banned from trading for three months following a ruling by Teesside Magistrates Court on Monday (6) after Middlesbrough Council Trading Standards uncovered more than £15,000 worth of non-compliant vapes hidden in numerous places around the shop.

There were 1,285 non-compliant vapes found when officers visited the shop on April 21 after receiving complaints that the store had been selling vapes to underage children. The substantial haul was found hidden in crisp boxes, inside a bin, under cardboard and even inside a bed frame.

All of the products the officers discovered contained illegal quantities of nicotine, some of which were labelled as containing zero per cent nicotine, despite containing the drug. Some of the vapes contained between four and ten thousand puffs, while all failed to comply with product labelling laws including a lack of necessary health warnings.

District Judge Marie Mallon ordered a three-month closure of the store and ordered its operator Harpreet Singh to pay £1,500 towards the council’s costs. The order could possibly be extended once the initial three month order is complete.

Judith Hedgley, Middlesbrough Council’s Head of Public Protection, said: “All tobacco products, e-cigarettes and vape products must comply with stringent tobacco control laws, including a limit on nicotine content and tank size, as well as complying with packaging and labelling requirements.

“Devices offering more than approximately 650 puffs are generally illegal – the vast majority of those found at John’s News were labelled as offering between 4,000 and 10,000 puffs. A 3,500-puff vape is the same as smoking around 280 cigarettes.”