Officers from Salford City Council Trading Standards have seized more than 77,000 illegal vapes and e-cigarettes in a single raid of a business in the Broughton area of the city.
Subsequent tests found many of the devices to be unsafe, with many others being counterfeits of recognised brands. A number of criminal and financial investigations into proceeds of crime relating to the find are ongoing.
The raid – one of the largest of its kind in the UK – marks the thirteenth carried out by Salford City Council Trading Standards so far this year as a response to increasing sales of illegal vapes. In total the team has seized more than 120,000 non-compliant devices, worth an estimated £1.2m, from businesses in the city.
Vaping devices must meet minimum standards for safety and quality, with clear and accurate safety warnings and instructions for use. They must be correctly labelled and display UK-based producer or importer details. They cannot have a tank size in excess of two millilitres (equal to roughly 600 puffs) and nicotine strength must not exceed 20mg/ml.
A spokesman for Salford City Council said: “Switching to vaping can help some smokers quit completely but we strongly discourage any non-smokers from taking up vaping, particularly young people.
“The e-cigarettes that have been seized have not gone through the required safety checks. Businesses in Salford selling e-cigarettes and e-liquids must make sure they fully understand and comply with the law, including not selling them to under-18s. Our Trading Standards team will continue to take action against any who put public health at risk by ignoring or flouting the law.”