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Trading Standards Hunt Illegal Disposables

Trading Standards are carrying out a hunt to identify vendors stocking illegal disposable vapes, following an investigation by the UK Vaping Industry Association

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Trading Standards are carrying out a hunt to identify vendors stocking illegal disposable vapes, following an investigation by the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA). Reports are coming in that letters have been sent to vendors about the sale of products containing over the maximum 20mg/ml nicotine limit.

A Trading Standards spokesperson is quoted as saying: “There has been a recent rise in reports across the UK of illegal vaping products being found on sale. These products are commonly referred to as ‘disposable vapes’, ‘nicotine puffs’, ‘Elf Bars’ or ‘Geek Bars’.”

Elf Bar and Geek Bar 20mg/ml products are listed with the MHRA for sale in the United Kingdom, but it is believed some importers are bringing in counterfeit stock or grey products that are legal for sale in regions here a higher nicotine concentration is still permissible.

John Dunne, director general at the UKVIA, previously told Planet of the Vapes: “We are calling upon regulators and major e-commerce platforms to robustly enforce current regulations and do much more in order to ‘clean up’ the disposable vapes market.

The problem lies with some distributors who are flouting UK regulations and managing to get these products imported into the country and sell them onto traders and retailers; as well as a lack of proper scrutiny on major online platforms.”

Walsall Trading Standards recently announced that it has seized a number of Geek Bar Pro vapes. These are illegal due to the volume of e-liquid they contain.

Geek Bar has said that it is working hard to counter the illegal importation of its products and to address the issue of counterfeits. Planet of the Vapes has been told that the company will shortly be releasing an announcement on the matter and also explain how it plans to improve its approach to recycling.

Highlands Trading Standards have cautioned vendors about selling these products to under-18s as the designs, price, and flavours make them “particularly attractive to young people”, although there is no evidence that teen vaping is increasing. The last ASH/Cancer Research UK report showed the opposite.

UKVIA continued: “Trading standards operations intensify nationwide following a major UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) investigation into illicit vaping products. We continue to cooperate with the authorities and major domestic and international manufacturers.”

It follows a previous statement where it said: ““The UKVIA is now calling for action to go much further and urging the MHRA, Trading Standards, e-commerce platforms, as well as reputable disposable vape producers, to come down hard on those supplying and selling illegal disposable vapes.”

Trading Standards organisations have said that inspections will continue for the next fortnight. Vendors are advised that they should remove from sale and dispose of illegal products.

UKVIA recently informed Planet of the Vapes that it is working with several manufacturers on a workable solution to recycling and reclaiming the parts of disposable vapes that can’t be recycled.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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