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110 illegal vapes worth up to £1,000 seized

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Illegal vapes worth up to £1,000 have been seized from a property in Gloucester by Gloucestershire County Council trading standards officers, with assistance from Gloucestershire Police.

Officers executed a warrant on a private residential address near central Gloucester on 6 March 2024 following complaints that e-cigarettes, commonly known as vapes, were being sold from the address to young people under the age of 18.

They established that e-cigarettes were being sold from the premises, mainly to young people. It is believed that they were being advertised on Snapchat. A litter pick from the street of discarded packaging confirmed the brands were non-compliant and therefore illegal to sell.

On entering the property, 110 illegal vapes worth up to £1,000 were found in locations including under a bed, in a kitchen cupboard and in a sideboard.

Brands seized include Hayati Pro Max 4000, R and M Tornado 9000 and ENE Legend 3500. The sale of vapes to under 18s is illegal as is the sale of non-compliant vapes. The vapes are non-compliant because they contain more than 2ml of nicotine liquid. Typically, legal vapes produce no more than 600 puffs.

In the past few years, trading standards have seized thousands of these illegal oversized vapes from shops but this is a first from a private address. The investigation is ongoing.

Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member for trading standards at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “It’s concerning to learn that a private premises was attracting children to purchase vapes. Our trading standards officers are vigilant in acting on information and will ensure that any items being sold illegally, whether they are from shops or private addresses, are seized.

“Vaping is not harmless as it contains nicotine, which is addictive, so it is important that young people are prevented from buying them. I would like to thank Gloucestershire Constabulary for their assistance in this investigation and we will continue to work closely together to ensure we prevent anyone from trying to sell illegal e-cigarettes.”

If you have concerns about what you suspect to be illegal activity, you can email tradingstandards@gloucestershire.gov.uk, visit the website https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/trading-standards/ or report via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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