20th December 2022

Darlington TS seizes illegal vapes

Darlington Trading Standards has seized non-compliant vapes as part of Operation CeCe.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team

Darlington Borough Council Trading Standards Officers have joined forces with the police to crack down of sales of illegal vapes in the town.

As part of Operation CeCe, a nationwide initiative supported by HMRC to tackle illicit tobacco, the team visited local shops between 30 November and 5 December after receiving information from members of the public.

Ably assisted by detection dogs Maggie and Cooper, from BWY Canine Ltd, Officers seized vapes with oversized tanks from six shops – the most common type being disposable ‘3,500 puff bars’, which would be the equivalent of smoking approximately 280 cigarettes.

Shaun Trevor and Cllr Mike Renton with detection dogs Maggie and Cooper and goods seized on 30 November (image credit: Darlington Borough Council)

Trading Standards Officers also accompanied police as part of Operation Autumn on 1 December, seizing illegal vapes and suspected illegal cigarettes were seized from two retailers.

In total, 489 illegal vapes, 19,580 cigarettes and 7.65 kilograms of hand rolling tobacco were seized. Investigations in relation to the seizures are ongoing and further action will follow.

Councillor Mike Renton, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for stronger communities, said: “Darlington Trading Standards team will continue to work closely with other agencies to tackle the sale and supply of illegal vapes and tobacco products in the town, particularly to children.

“Those that engage in illegal sales hurt other businesses in the town that do follow the rules and we are working hard to ensure this does not happen.

“We will continue our efforts to monitor and visit stores which sell illegal products, and don’t comply with age restrictions, and will use all available measures including prosecuting those responsible.”

Lord Michael Bichard, Chair of National Trading Standards, said: “The trade in illegal tobacco harms local communities and affects honest businesses operating within the law. Having removed 21 million illegal cigarettes, 5,800kg of hand rolling tobacco and almost 175kg of shisha products from sale, the National Trading Standards initiative in partnership with HMRC continues to successfully disrupt this illicit trade.”

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