Crackdown on illicit vape sales

MORE than 8,500 illegal vapes have been seized by trading standards officers over the past year in Doncaster.
Photo by E-Liquids UK on UnsplashPhoto by E-Liquids UK on Unsplash
Photo by E-Liquids UK on Unsplash

City of Doncaster Council’s trading standards team has conducted over 150 business inspections, including pro-active visits to businesses known for selling vapes.

CODC released an update on the picture in the borough following a government announcement that a new illicit vape enforcement squad would be funded to help enforce the rules around vaping.

The council’s own campaign began after a national trend in illegal vapes being sold was spotted, as well as concerns locally.

They said the vast majority of businesses had been found to be compliant, with the opportunity being used to advise traders further on the safety of vapes.

Where businesses were found to be in breach, illegal vapes were seized and written warnings issued, warning of potential prosecutions.

Cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and enforcement, Cllr Joe Blackham, said: “There were a minority of businesses who were found to be selling illegal vapes or selling vapes to children.

“Businesses who continue to flout the law should be aware they will be targeted and we will have no hesitation in prosecuting them.

“It is vital that vaping products comply with the rules that were established to safeguard public health, and of course, that they do not end up in the hands of children.”

The council said while legal vaping was a preferable alternative to the smoking of tobacco products for adults, it could still have dangerous and unknown side effects, particularly for non-smokers, children and if containing new or unknown ingredients.

The majority of the illicit products being sold had tanks that contained well in excess of the 2ml maximum limit allowed for this type of disposable device exposing the user to higher levels than the legislation allows for.

These products are usually labelled with the number of puffs one vape might contain, with the authority saying any disposable vape labelled with more than 800 puffs was more than likely to contain more than the maximum content allowed.

If you have information with regard to the illicit or underage selling of vapes in Doncaster, you should report this to Trading Standards.

The best way of reporting details are via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1144 or by emailing [email protected].