Trading Standards in Newcastle, UK, has seized 76,000 illegal vapes, with an estimated market value of more than £1 million. While vapes are seen as a tool that can help adult smokers quit smoking, there are serious concerns about illegal vapes that do not meet legal standards, especially those that lure children into using them. There have also been complaints about discarded vapes and their packaging littering city streets and green spaces.
Newcastle Trading Standards Manager David Ellington told members of the city council’s health scrutiny committee that his team had seized 3.3 tonnes worth of substandard vape products since the vape epidemic exploded in autumn 2021, equivalent to about 7.6 tonnes of substandard vape products. Ten thousand Vape and cigarette cartridges, with a total value of 1.1 million pounds.
Ellington said organized crime groups that were previously involved in supplying illicit tobacco have now switched to supplying vapes and these people are making huge profits from it. Local governments are considering new regulations to crack down on vape use, including limiting vape flavors, keeping vape displays in stores out of reach of children, and closing legal loopholes that allow children to get free samples and buy nicotine-free vapes.