20,000 illegal vapes seized in Warwickshire

Warwickshire County Council has revealed that 19,600 illegal vapes have been seized from shops across the county in just 18 months, including a haul of 2,385 from just one shop in North Warwickshire.

The vapes were confiscated by Trading Standards: a local government body that investigates illegal business practices.

With the wholesale price for these goods sitting at approximately £5, the Council estimates the seizure will cause almost £100,000 in retailer losses.

Hospital admissions for ‘vaping-related disorders’ have tripled since 2020 according to the NHS

Councillor Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, remarked:

“Oversized illegal vapes may contain much more nicotine than a UK standard legal vape, so it’s important that we get them off the streets. Warwickshire Trading Standards will continue to both advise businesses and, where necessary, carry out enforcement exercises, both to remove illegal vapes and prevent the sale of vapes to under 18s.” 

Currently, it is illegal to sell vapes containing more than the 2ml legal limit of nicotine e-liquid (or 600 puffs), but ‘under the counter’ deals are commonplace. 

Exceeding this limit can lead to nicotine poisoning and other health issues that the UK is already battling, with hospital admissions for ‘vaping-related disorders’ having tripled since 2020 according to the NHS.

Over 1/5 of those aged between 11 and 17 admit to having tried vaping, a figure that has risen 50% in the last year

The report comes as part of a government crackdown on illegal vapes, as the Department of Health and Social Care mulls outlawing disposable vapes altogether, including the popular ‘Lost Mary’ and ‘Elf Bar’ brands. 

Sellers have attracted controversy for marketing strategies that purposefully target children and teenagers, from sweet flavours to captivating bright colours. According to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), a public health charity aiming to address tobacco-related harm, over 1/5 of those aged between 11 and 17 admit to having tried vaping, a figure that has risen 50% in the last year and tripled since 2020. 

Other potential, albeit less extreme, measures involve restricting vape flavours and sale locations, alongside regulating vape packaging and introducing warnings similar to those seen on cigarette packs. 

The government will also legislate to implement a phased ban on the sale of tobacco products as part of plans to “create a smoke-free generation and tackle youth vaping.


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