21st March 2024

York TS pushes back on illegal vapes

An operation to clamp down on illicit devices has removed £13,000 worth of illegal vapes from sale.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
The message to businesses in York is ‘don’t sell them here’. If you do, we will seize them

City of York Trading Standards has seized around £13,000 worth of illegal vapes from three businesses in the city as part of Operation Hunter, an initiative to clamp down on oversized and non-compliant e-cigarettes.

Officers found 1,096 illegal devices during the two-day campaign, most of which had nicotine liquid tank sizes in excess of the legal 2ml maximum.

As part of a separate operation, City of York Trading Standards recently carried out a series of underage test purchases in which one business was caught selling a vape to a child.

The businesses were targeted following complaints from members of the public or other agencies such as the police.

A City of York public health campaign reaching all secondary schools and higher education settings was launched last year to help teens quit vaping. A survey of 4,267 local children between October 2021 and January 2022 found that 19% of secondary and sixth form pupils had used an e-cigarette and 10% had used conventional cigarettes.

Councillor Jo Coles, York City Council Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adult Social Care, said: “High levels of nicotine in illegal vapes can be really damaging to our health, and no vapes are suitable for children, so it’s really worrying that shops in York have been selling them, and selling vapes to under 18s.

“Illegal vapes have no place in our city and we must ensure our children are protected from them. Huge thanks to our Trading Standards Team and the public who raised the alarm about this.”

Matt Boxall, head of Public Protection at City of York Council, said: “We will always act on information from the public and will ensure that any items being sold illegally are removed from sale.

“The message to businesses in York is ‘don’t sell them here’. If you do, we will seize them.’’

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