An ongoing operation to tackle the sale of illegal vapes in Staffordshire has made seizures worth £18,161.
The raids, at four premises in Newcastle and Uttoxeter, resulted in the seizure of 1,397 illegal single use nicotine inhaling vapes.
Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards officers, supported by Staffordshire Police and Newcastle Borough Council licensing team, made the seizures on Monday 18 September.
The raids were part of Operation Joseph, a National Trading Standards initiative to tackle the supply and sale of illegal vapes and e-cigarettes. Officers seized some oversized products offering up to 14ml capacity, with an estimated 9,000 puffs, which is seven times the legal limit.
Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council said: “Tackling illegal vapes remains a priority for our Trading Standards service and we’re very pleased with the seizures in this latest operation.
“Illegal and oversized vaping products are becoming increasingly popular but can be harmful to people’s health, which is why we’re working hard to remove them from the streets. We are also seeing an increase in the sale of them to young people, which is a worrying trend and something we are keen to stamp out.
“We do rely on intelligence from the public about the sales of illegal products, so anyone with information should call the confidential helpline on 01785 330356.”
In April of this year, the Department of Health and Social Care announced proposals and £3 million to crack down on the sales of e-cigarettes to under 18s. The proposals are supporting local Trading Standards services, with enforcement activities including test purchasing and to check products are compliant.
In the last financial year (April 2022 to March 2023), Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards service have uncovered more than 9,000 illegal vapes. This financial year so far, the team have already seized almost 8,000 vapes.