‘Illegal e-cigarettes’ seized in St Helens

A LARGE quantity of illegal electronic cigarettes was seized.

On Wednesday July 27, officers from the St Helens Borough Council Trading Standards seized a large quantity of illegal disposable e-cigarettes from a vape shop in St Helens town centre.

After a day of action in February to tackle illicit tobacco sales in the town centre, during which vapes were also seized, the council said residents feared a specialist vape shop in the same street sells vapes that contain too much nicotine liquid.

Consumer watchdogs found the store was offering disposable vapes for sale online with far more than the permitted 2ml of e-liquid and there were also complaints that they were selling vapes to children. under 18 years old.

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While the illegal vapes were removed from sale on the website following advice, the store continued to sell oversized disposable vapes containing the same amount of nicotine as around 15 packs of cigarettes from the store’s compound. .

Officers discovered that while the illegal vapes were not on display in the store, a large quantity of them were hidden in the back of the store and sold to customers who requested them.

E-cigarettes are limited to 2ml of liquid and no more than 20mg of nicotine per ml. They must also be authorized by the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency for sale in the UK market. Trading Standards has seized over 1,100 oversized, overpowered, or unauthorized vapes for sale.

Cllor Jeanie Bell, St Helens Borough Council Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities, said: “The sale of non-compliant e-cigarettes is a concern, particularly as Trading Standards receives numerous complaints alleging the sale of these products to minors.

“Vapes are cheap and come in flavors and designs that often appeal to young people. Our officers have provided written advice to all stores in the borough most likely to sell these products and will continue to take enforcement action where illegal products continue to be sold.

If you think a shop is selling illegal vapes you can report it via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 or email [email protected]

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