3rd June 2024

Kent TS takes on illicit vapes

Illicit vapes and tobacco products have been removed from sale in the latest ‘day of action’.

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

The Kent County Council Trading Standards team  has seized illicit vapes and tobacco products in its latest ‘day of action’.

The team visited shops in central Ashford accompanied by Officers from Kent Police on Friday 24 May, and seized a total of 66 tubs of nicotine pouches, 880 vapes, 1,680 cigarette sticks and 600g of hand rolling tobacco.

Some of the illicit products seized (image credit: Kent County Council)

In the past six months Kent Trading Standards has removed more than 12,000 illegal vapes from sale and provided compliance advice to 600 retailers in the county.

Many of the illicit vapes seized exceed the legal nicotine capacity, with one device providing 15,000 puffs – more than 20 times the legal limit. Officers have also found devices without the correct labelling or warnings, meaning they have not passed legally required safety checks.

Jim Whiddett, Trading Standards Operations Manager at Kent County Council, said: “The partnership approach to Friday’s activity enabled officers to deal with the premises in an effective way. Trading Standards will continue to remove illegal tobacco, vapes and nicotine pouches from shops in Kent as this illegal activity brings criminals into our communities and can encourage children to smoke or vape due to the cheap price of the products.

“It is clear from some of the evidence that some shops are continuing to supply illegal products despite the team’s advice. We will continue to work with partner agencies to engage with retailers to ensure compliance or disrupt this illegal activity with further interventions when appropriate.”

PC Aaron Hobday, from Ashford’s Beat Team, said: “As neighbourhood policing officers, we use any information we pick up during our beat to keep people safe, be that from crime or illegal products like these.

“By working with Trading Standards in this instance, we are helping to keep Ashford safe and preventing potentially dangerous products from being sold to the public.”

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