12,000 illegal vapes taken off the streets in the past 6 months – Bolton Council

Published: Thursday, March 21, 2024

Bolton Council's fight against illegal vaping continues thanks to the hard work of the Trading Standards team.

In the last six months, a team of officers dedicated to tackling illicit products have seized approximately 12,000 vapes from businesses across the Bolton district.

Illegal vaporizers have been found in a variety of locations within the premises, some displayed at the point of sale and others hidden more discreetly in locked warehouses.

Just under 3,000 illegal vaporizers were seized in one location alone.

It is typically bought for around £6 per device and sold for between £10 and £13 each, putting the total retail value at over £30,000.

Illegal vaporizers are unregulated and often contain illegal ingredients that can harm the health of adults and children.

The businesses raided included convenience stores, off-license stores, mobile phone stores and gas stations.

The facilities are now being investigated further and may be subject to prosecution and possible closure orders.

All seized vaporizers have been sent for recycling.

Cllr Sue Haworth, Bolton Council's executive cabinet member for regulatory services, said:

“Illegal vapes are unregulated and often contain illegal ingredients that can harm the health of adults and children.

“We continue to explore enforcement options, such as closure orders, that will provide a long-term solution to combat the problem.

“Since May 2023, we have formally issued three warnings to illegal traders and sent fifty warning letters for non-compliant illicit vapes and tobacco.

"Tackling the sale of illegal vapes remains a priority for this council."

Anyone with information regarding the sale of vaping, tobacco or sales to minors suspected to be illegal in Bolton is asked to contact trading standards at trading.standards@bolton.gov.uk.

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