How Easy Is It To Buy An Illegal Vape On The UK High Street?

Vaping has been around for a long time, and it’s a popular way to consume nicotine. In recent years, it has exploded in popularity, with many people switching from traditional cigarettes to vapes. While legal vapes are widely available in the UK, illegal vapes are also being sold on the high street. Trading Standards officers have described shops selling illegal vapes as the biggest threat to the UK’s high streets. In this article, we explore how easy it is to buy an illegal vape, and what is being done to prevent them from reaching the shelves.

The Seizure Of Illegal Vapes

Illegal vapes are being seized at an unprecedented level, and the authorities are cracking down on shops that sell them. In the last few weeks alone, counterfeit goods worth £140,000, including illegal-strength vape pens, were seized by Westminster Council Trading Standards and Met Police officers on Oxford Street in the heart of London’s West End.

To understand how easy it is to buy an illegal vape, we decided to investigate. We entered a shop with a bright wall of colourful vapes stacked up high on shelves, and it didn’t take us long to spot a vape that didn’t meet UK packaging standards. We asked the shop worker if he had anything stronger, and he led us to the back of the store. There, we saw tonnes of oversized and illegal high-strength vapes in a box on the floor. The worker listed the nicotine strengths, and we were sold a vape for £50, which had 5% nicotine and a capacity of about 4,000 puffs. We were not even asked our age, even though we looked quite young.

The Dangers Of Illegal Vapes

Phil Jenkins, a senior London Trading Standards officer who seized one million illegal vapes with his Ports and Borders team at Heathrow Airport last year, says that all of the illegal vapes are essentially being manufactured in China. While legal vapes are also made in China, the illegal vapes are intended to be sold quickly and can go anywhere around the world. They can end up in places with low tax regimes, low enforcement, or areas where there’s been a spike in demand.

Jenkins also outlines some of the dangers associated with these products. “If you absorb too much nicotine, it could cause serious harm. You don’t know how safe the lithium batteries are; you just don’t know what’s in them,” he says.

The Seizure And Disposal Of Illegal Vapes

When illegal vapes are seized, they are sent to a secure location to be destroyed sustainably. However, a company that destroys them on behalf of the authorities has said that they are extremely hard to dispose of responsibly in large quantities. Once seized, the vapes are disassembled, with the lithium batteries separated and crushed into fine powders for reuse. The cartridges are separated from vessels, cleaned, and recycled as well.

Conclusion

Illegal vapes are a serious problem, and they are being sold on the UK’s high streets. While the authorities are cracking down on shops that sell illegal vapes, it is still relatively easy to buy one. The dangers associated with these products cannot be overstated, and consumers should only buy legal vapes from reputable shops.

FAQs

  • What are illegal vapes?
    Illegal vapes are vapes that don’t meet UK packaging standards, have too high nicotine strengths, or are oversized.

  • How easy is it to buy an illegal vape?
    It’s relatively easy to buy an illegal vape. We entered a shop and quickly found one that didn’t meet UK packaging standards.

  • What are the dangers of illegal vapes?
    Illegal vapes can be very dangerous. They may contain too much nicotine, and the lithium batteries may not be safe.

  • Where do illegal vapes come from?
    Illegal vapes are mainly manufactured in China and can end up in places with low tax regimes, low enforcement, or areas where there’s been a spike in demand.

  • What happens to illegal vapes when they are seized?
    Illegal vapes are sent to a secure location to be destroyed sustainably. They are disassembled, and the lithium batteries are separated and crushed into fine powders for reuse. The cartridges are separated from vessels, cleaned, and recycled as well.


How Easy Is It To Buy An Illegal Vape On The UK High Street?
https://edgeribbon-fufwz4.stormkit.dev/2023/04/07/illegal-vapes-uk-high-street/
Author
Vape Storm
Posted on
April 7, 2023
Licensed under