The UK has been flooded with two million unlawful vapes from its borders since 2022 because it struggles to carry off the counterfeit vaping surge – sufficient for nearly 4 to be offered each minute.
Unlawful vapes seized within the first 4 months of 2023 have been seven occasions greater than seizures within the entirety of 2021, in line with the most recent Freedom of Info request obtained by disposable vape retailer Vape Membership, which advocates for eliminating unlawful vapes.
Since 2021, half of all unlawful vape seizures have been situated in London. London is residence to a number of worldwide airports like Heathrow – its bordering London borough of Hillingdon had essentially the most counterfeit vape seizures in 2022. Additionally in shut proximity to Heathrow Airport, Ealing ranks as a high borough, having confronted 23,300 counterfeit vape confiscations final 12 months. Additional within the capital, Westminster has featured within the high ten native authorities from 2021 to 2023.
The findings increase issues in regards to the doubtlessly harmful unlawful vapes coming into the UK at its borders. These vary from merchandise that don’t adjust to UK laws, and haven’t been by means of the suitable testing to make sure security to counterfeits of widespread manufacturers.
The vaping business is now calling for stronger clampdowns, regulation enforcement, and unlawful vaping merchandise to be handled as severely as counterfeit cigarettes. In actual fact, the variety of unlawful vapes seized within the UK this 12 months is over double the variety of counterfeit cigarettes.
Counterfeit vapes are a problem throughout the entire of the UK, with a lot of the high offending areas situated in England. Since 2021, London, the South East and North West have persistently been within the high three areas for counterfeit vape seizures, with the UK’s busiest borders having essentially the most unlawful vape imports.
Dan Marchant, Director of the UK’s largest vaping and e-liquids retailer, Vape Membership, mentioned, “Illicit vaping merchandise have the potential to be harmful to the person’s well being.
“We’d advise steering away from any retailer you’re not sure of, ensuring to purchase from respected retailers. An unlawful vape can typically be noticed by the product description, particularly the variety of puffs being marketed.
“Beneath UK legislation, the utmost quantity of e-liquid that may legally be in a vape product is 2ml, which can equate to round 500-700 puffs. Any product claiming to be greater than that is normally a dependable indication that the product isn’t authorized and has not been by means of the suitable testing and security measures.”
“The accountable facet of the business is actually begging for the authorities to implement the laws and take critical motion towards the companies flouting the foundations. What’s wanted is a licensing scheme so correct age verification checks will be utilized to each retailer.
“There should even be greater fines utilized to each breach for the rogue sellers. The UKVIA (UK Vaping Business Affiliation) is looking for the fines to be raised to not less than £10,000, which might be an actual deterrent.”
Commenting on latest raids in July, councillor Syed Ghani, Cupboard Member for Enforcement and Group Security added, “If persons are smoking unlawful vapes, tobacco or cigarettes, it signifies that they’re not conscious of what they’re placing into their physique, and this will have an adversarial impact on their well being and wellbeing.
“It’s the council’s job to ensure we’re defending our residents, so if we’re conscious of companies not promoting permitted merchandise accurately, we’ll take enforcement motion.”