Non-Compliant Vapes: Trading Standards' Growing Concern in the UK Market

The UK vaping market has recently been flooded with non-compliant single-use vaping products, causing increasing concern among Trading Standards regarding the high volume of these products available in the market. This article will discuss the current regulations for vaping products, the challenges faced by Trading Standards, and the impact of non-compliant vapes on consumers and the environment.

Current Regulations for Vaping Products

According to current UK regulations, vaping products must adhere to specific guidelines. These guidelines require vapes to have tanks with a maximum capacity of 2ml, a nicotine strength of under 20mg/ml, display health warnings, and provide manufacturer details on their labels. These regulations are in place to ensure consumer safety and promote responsible use of vaping products.

Trading Standards’ Efforts to Combat Non-Compliant Vapes

Trading Standards across the UK have been conducting inspections and following up on complaints regarding the sale of single-use vapes. In Fife alone, officers conducted 142 advisory visits during 2021/22, which included the inspection of vapes being offered for sale. Many of these inspections have uncovered non-compliant vapes with incorrect labels, no UK contact details, and tanks sizes exceeding the legal requirement.

Despite the diligent efforts of Trading Standards, the surge of non-compliant vapes being sold by retailers remains a significant concern. Trading Standards are also faced with the challenge of disposing of non-compliant vapes, which can be costly.

Challenges Faced by Trading Standards

The disposal of non-compliant vapes is not the only challenge faced by Trading Standards. The supply chain deficiencies also pose significant problems. A recent statement issued from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) calls for support from the government in relation to non-compliant products. The statement emphasizes the need for greater resources to support enforcement work and calls for a wider review of the regulations to keep up with product development and market changes.

Dawn Adamson, Fife Council Trading Standards’ Manager, notes that “as the market for disposable vapes continues to grow, Trading Standards faces increasing challenges in ensuring compliance. The substantial increase of 241% in non-compliant vapes seized by Fife Trading Standards officers in one year highlights the scale of this issue (616 vapes seized in 2021/22, and 2102 vapes were seized in 2022/23). We remain committed to addressing these challenges and protecting consumers.”

Impact of Non-Compliant Vapes

The prevalence of non-compliant vapes in the market poses significant risks to consumers’ health and safety. Non-compliant vapes may contain harmful substances or have faulty components that could cause injury or illness. Additionally, non-compliant vapes can have a detrimental impact on the environment if not disposed of properly.


The surge of non-compliant vapes being sold in the UK market is a growing concern for Trading Standards. Despite their efforts to ensure compliance and protect consumers, the supply chain deficiencies and disposal costs continue to pose significant challenges. The government must review regulations to keep up with product development and market changes to promote responsible use of vaping products and ensure consumer safety.

Non-Compliant Vapes: Trading Standards' Growing Concern in the UK Market
Vape Storm
Posted on
April 6, 2023
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