Oxfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards has issued a warning about the dangers of illegal disposable vapes after total seizures across the county reached 10,000.

Jody Kerman, Oxfordshire County Council’s head of trading standards, explained that they have seen a very concerning but unfortunately predictable development involving the use of ”reasonably sophisticated” concealments secured by electromagnets, in an attempt to avoid detection.

“This is clear evidence that illegal vapes are now being deliberately sold by organised crime groups. Whilst the Tobacco and Vapes Bill is very welcome, this is clearly going to be a significant problem for many years to come,” Kerman said.


How to spot an illegal vape?

Check the packaging for the following tell-tale signs that a disposable vape may be illegal:

  • A nicotine content above 2 percent (or 20mg/ml)
  • The capacity above 2ml
  • A puff count above 1,200
  • No UK address for an importer/manufacturer
  • A health warning that doesn’t include the exact wording “This product contains nicotine which is a highly addictive substance”

Councillor Dr Nathan Ley Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for public health, inequalities and community safety added: “Rechargeable vapes are a proven tool for adult smokers to help with quitting smoking and are almost twice as effective as other forms of nicotine replacement therapy. However, they should not be used by children or non-smokers as nicotine is highly addictive, with withdrawal sometimes causing anxiety, trouble concentrating and headaches. This is alongside other unknown long-term effects on health.”

Anyone concerned about the sale of illegal vapes in Oxfordshire can report it anonymously using the Illegal tobacco and vape hotline on 0300 999 6 999 or visit stop-illegal-tobacco.co.uk

Any business considering purchasing disposable vapes for retail sale can refer to Oxfordshire County Council’s online guidance.