Salford Trading Standards has seized a massive haul of illicit disposable vapes and e-liquids from a local company as part of ongoing efforts to rid the streets of dangerous and illegal products.
With the support of Greater Manchester Police, Officers seized three van loads of the devices, some with up to eleven times the legal limit of e-liquid and more than twice the legal nicotine content. The estimated total value of the products is £400,000.
Vapes seized included novelty toy soft drink designs seemingly deliberately aimed at children, as well as e-liquid containers designed to resemble bottles of beer. It is illegal to produce or supply an electronic cigarette or refill container that resembles a food product and to sell vapes or e-cigarettes to those aged under 18.
When they visited the premises following a tip-off, Officers found a storage area concealed behind shutters, containing racks full of illegal vapes. In all more than 35,000 illegal disposable vapes and 3,500 e-liquids were seized. A criminal investigation has been launched.
Since January, Salford Trading Standards has seized almost 85,000 illegal vaping products worth more than £650,000, and issued a stern warning to local companies.
Councillor Barbara Bentham, Salford Council lead member for environment and community safety, said: “Some producers are cynically and deliberately designing vapes to appeal to children and it’s horrifying to find a local business buying into that exploitation.
“I’m very grateful to the person who complained about this, enabling our officers and police to go in and clear the shelves of these non-compliant and illegal products. In addition to taking action, such as prosecution, we can investigate money made illegally, in order to recover the proceeds of crime.
“Properly regulated vapes can be a great way for adults to stop smoking, but non-smokers and under 18s should not be using them because nicotine is highly addictive.”