Buckinghamshire flooded with illegal vapes with 6,567 seized since start of the year
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Buckinghamshire has been flooded with illegal vapes with 6,567 devices seized since the start of the year.
That compares to just 504 illegal vape seizures in 2002 with the industry calling for a stronger crackdown and tighter restrictions. according to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to 167 local councils across the UK.
Illegal vapes seized across the UK in the first four months of 2023 were seven times higher than seizures for the whole of 2021, according to a latest Freedom of Information request obtained by Vape Club.
The findings reveal Buckinghamshire has reported a surge in the number of illegal vape seizures year on year, increasing 1202% since 2022. A total of 504 illegal vaping products were seized in 2022 compared to 6,567 in just 10 months so far this year.
The South East of England records the second-highest number of illegal vapes seizures in the UK this year with a total of 80,052. The North East of England reports the highest number of illegal vapes with 80,434. The South East also reports the highest number of cigarette seizures compared to anywhere else in the UK (25,775).
The vaping industry is now calling for stronger clampdowns, regulation enforcement, and illegal vaping products to be treated as seriously as counterfeit cigarettes. In fact, the number of illegal vapes seized in the UK this year is over double the number of counterfeit cigarettes.
Illegal vapes are an issue across the whole of the UK, with most of the top offending regions located in England. Since 2021, London, the South East and North West have consistently been in the top three regions for illegal vape seizures, with the UK’s busiest borders having the most illegal vape imports.
Dan Marchant, Vape Club director, said: “Illicit vaping products have the potential to be dangerous to the user's health. We’d advise steering clear of any retailer you’re unsure of, making sure to buy from reputable retailers.
"An illegal vape can sometimes be spotted by the product description, specifically the number of puffs being advertised. Under UK law, the maximum volume of e-liquid that can legally be in a vape product is 2ml, which will equate to around 500-700 puffs. Any product claiming to be more than this is usually a reliable indication that the product is not legal and has not been through the appropriate testing and safety measures.
“The responsible side of the industry is literally begging for the authorities to enforce the regulations and take serious action against the businesses flouting the rules. What’s needed is a licensing scheme so proper age verification tests can be applied to every retailer. There must also be higher fines applied to every breach for the rogue sellers. The UKVIA (UK Vaping Industry Association) is calling for the fines to be raised to at least £10,000, which would be a real deterrent."
Trading Standards at both Milton Keynes City Council and Bucks County Council has been approached for a comment.