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Counterfeit Disposables

West Yorkshire and Lancashire have witnessed raids as further counterfeit disposable vapes have been seized and removed from stores

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Police and Trading Standards officers have carried out yet more raids on stores. This time, shops in West Yorkshire and Lancashire have been targeted and counterfeit disposable vapes have been seized and removed from sale. The UK Vaping Industry Association has spoken out against illegal vape sales and pointed to the guidance available on its website.

Stores in Skelmersdale and Ormskirk were targeted by the Police and Lancashire Trading Standards.

Skelmersdale Police announce on their Facebook page: “Earlier this week, neighbourhood officers teamed up with a team from Trading Standards, to carry out inspections of two shops. One in Ormskirk and one in Skelmersdale.

“The inspection was carried out, due to intelligence received about these two shops selling counterfeit/illegal cigarettes, as well as e-cigarettes that breach the current regulations surrounding them. Combined, 555 e-cigarettes and 311 illegal/counterfeit cigarettes were seized from the two shops.

“The offenses committed include: Trademarks Act 1995 for the counterfeits, the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015 for the improperly labelled tobacco products, and the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 for the improperly labelled e-liquids.”

Over in West Yorkshire, officers raided stores in Kirklees, Dewsbury, and Huddersfield. They reported confiscating over three thousand disposable vapes worth around £40,000. They also seized illegal cigarettes, pouches of hand-rolling tobacco, perfume and clothing.

Sergeant Amanda Holroyd commented: “Officers from our team and West Yorkshire Trading Standards have taken illegal and counterfeit items worth tens of thousands of pounds … in what have been some very significant seizures. We know cash from the sale of such goods can often be used to directly fund organised crime so it is important we do all we can to cut off sources of funding for serious criminality which can blight communities.”

Trading Standards Manager Linda Davis said: “The illegal trade in tobacco products makes it easier for children to start smoking, takes advantage of cash-strapped families, and helps fund organised crime.”

John Dunne, director general of the UK Vaping Industry Association, spoke to Convenience Store and commented: “Based on the amount of products I see in the marketplace, the number of reports of illicit sales and what’s being reported to trading standards, I believe it’s that big, and a huge concern. I probably receive between 200 and 400 reports of illegal sellers in the UK every month. All of all of whom are sent over to MHRA and trading standards for enforcement.

This is a market that has huge growth potential for retailers, if it’s allowed grow in a responsible manner, but having a short-term view and ignoring compliance is going to have a detrimental effect. And potentially lead to things like the category being banned, flavour bans or plain packaging.”


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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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