Warning after thousands of illicit Vapes seized
24 May 2022
Northumberland shops and consumers are being urged by Northumberland County Council to put safety first and check the vapes they sell, or use are legal.
The warning comes after the Trading Standards Officers in the Public Protection Service seized over two thousand illegal e-cigarette devices in routine inspections over the past two months.
Product names include Hipster, Elux 2500, Elux 3500, Elf Bar, Geek Bar Pro and counterfeit Geek Bars Pro - a powerful and brightly coloured disposable vape - available in a range of child-appealing flavours, such as icy cola, orange soda and lush ice.
Some devices have been found to have a nicotine capacity six times larger than that permitted. The tank size of a vape should not hold in excess of 2ml which equates roughly to 600 puffs.
Other vapes have failed to meet stringent labelling and information requirements. Vape products should display certain information either on or within the packaging. This includes:
- Health warnings about the dangers of nicotine which should cover at least 30% of the front and back surfaces of the vape packaging presented as black text on a white background.
- The nicotine content of the product which cannot be more than 20mg per ml
- A batch number to identify the product
- A recommendation to keep the product out of the reach of children
- A name and address for the manufacturer and importer
- Instructions for use
Many devices are also not registered with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
In all instances, this means that products cannot lawfully be sold in the UK and concerns about safety are heightened. The regime in place for regulation of e-cigarettes and e-liquids is about ensuring product safety and protecting public health.
Public Protection are now appealing to all retailers in the county to actively check existing stocks for legal compliance and maintain this vigilance in any new stock obtained. Consumers who buy these products are also encouraged to be aware of what the law requires and keep themselves safe.
Northumberland County Councillor, cabinet member for community services Colin Horncastle said:
“We are concerned about the high volume of devices found that failed to meet the required standards. Our Trading Standards team are working hard to get these products off the shelves and ensure that any risks they present are removed.
“It is important that all of our local businesses selling these goods play their part by checking stock to ensure compliance with all legal obligations. Any non-compliant products should be removed from sale and returned to the supplier.”
Philip Soderquest, director of housing and public protection at Northumberland County Council said:
“The rise in popularity of vaping has resulted in some products being rushed onto the UK market or diverted from other overseas markets. These products may not be legal for sale in the UK.
“Some of the non-compliant single-use products that have been found are also appealing to young people and may encourage them to try vaping. It is illegal for e-cigarettes and e-liquids to be sold to anyone under the age of 18 and retailers are reminded of this in addition to ensuring that non-compliant products are removed from sale.”
Anyone spotting illegal vapes for sale, or who believes a shop may be selling vaping products to under 18s, should report details to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline 0808 223 1133.
More Information about legal requirements can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/advice-for-retailers-and-producers