More than 18,000 illegal vapes have been taken off the borough’s streets in one of the largest ever inland seizures in the UK by a local trading standards authority.
Ealing Council trading standards officers seized the illegal products, which have a monetary value of around £180,000.
The illegal vapes contained nicotine with a tank capacity which exceeded that permitted by law. The tank size of a vape should not hold in excess of 2ml which equates roughly to 600 puffs. The vapes seized also failed to meet statutory labelling and information requirements.
The items were seized from a number of premises in Southall. The products were branded as “Elux”, “R & M Tornado”, “Vapmod”, “Solox Vapes”, “M Bar” and “Raymont”.
Ealing council’s cabinet member for decent living incomes, councillor Bassam Mahfouz, said: “It is our duty to protect the health and wellbeing to the residents of Ealing. Whilst nicotine-containing vapes may be a substitute for tobacco smoking these disposable vaping products still contain nicotine, which can be highly addictive and are therefore regulated products.
“Our trading standards officers are working hard to get these illegal vapes removed from sale and will continue to disrupt this illicit trade and take enforcement action where necessary. Their work is a fundamental part of our pledge to tackle businesses which put residents and consumers in the borough at risk and to support compliant businesses by creating a legal and level playing field.”
Ealing trading standards officers are working hard to clamp down on the sale of illegal vapes and electronic cigarettes within the borough and also work in partnership with other agencies including those based at the ports to stop the importation and distribution of these products in to the UK market.
Mohammed Tariq, senior trading standards officer said: “This department will do everything possible to protect consumers from purchasing these illegal products. We are concerned about the large number illegal items found from this one supplier. We will be targeting importers, wholesalers and retailers in Ealing to remind them that they have a duty to supply products which are legal, safe and have been formally tested and meet the relevant statutory legal requirements. They should only purchase stock from reputable sources that have met the manufacturing and legal standards.”
If you have information on anyone selling illegal vapes, you can report it via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Businesses who would like advice can also email the council’s trading standards team.