16th October 2023

Illicit vapes seized by Suffolk TS

Officers from Suffolk Trading Standards have seized more than 2,000 illegal vapes from a shop in Ipswich.

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

Officers from Suffolk Trading Standards have seized more than 2,000 vapes with a capacity well beyond the legal limit from an Ipswich shop.

Under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, the limit for a vape’s tank capacity is 2ml, which equates to around 600 puffs – the items seized in Ipswich have a capacity of between 3,500 and 10,000 puffs.

The vapes were found in a storeroom during a tobacco test purchase operation and investigations into the retailer are continuing.

Despite their value as an aid in smoking cessation, there have been widespread concerns about the availability of vapes to young people, with cases of designs, packaging and flavours seemingly deliberately targeted at children.

CTSI recently welcomed the announcement of a consultation to address the problem, as well as the investment of £30m to support the work of local Trading Standards services, HMRC and Border Force to prevent underage sales and the import of illicit tobacco and vaping products at the border.

Graham Crisp, Head of Suffolk Trading Standards, said: “Illegal vapes such as these breach the safety legislation and indicate that they could be unsafe to use. That legislation is in place to help protect the public, and businesses who break those regulations can expect tough penalties.

“We will continue to carry out checks on retailers across Suffolk, taking legal action where necessary.”

Councillor Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health and Public Protection, said: “Vaping has an important role to play in helping smokers to quit, especially when used in conjunction with specialist support from a stop smoking service.

“However, illegal devices such as these are nothing to do with helping people quit smoking; instead they exacerbate the problem of inappropriate vaping.

“This seizure is another example of the ongoing excellent work being carried out by Suffolk Trading Standards in tackling this problem.”


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