Vaping News

More Raids On Illegal Disposables

Stores in Northamptonshire and London have been subjected to raids and become the focus of national newspaper stories for supplying illegal vapes to teenage children

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Following on from last week’s coverage of swoops in West Yorkshire and Lancashire, stores in Northamptonshire and London have been subjected to police and Trading Standards officer raids and become the focus of national newspaper stories for supplying illegal vapes to teenage children.

West Northamptonshire Council Trading Standards officers conducted a series of test purchases with the assistance of a 16-year-old girl. The teen would enter stores and attempt to purchase vape products to see if the stores abided by legislation preventing them from selling to underage customers.

The stores were targeted for the test purchases as a result of complaints West Northamptonshire Council Trading Standards had received from concerned members of the public. In total, thirteen shops in Northampton and in and around Daventry were investigated during August 2022.

Twelve of the thirteen shops all correctly asked for a form of identification and then refused service when the girl was unable to produce anything. The unnamed thirteenth store will now be facing further action as it did not demand ID and proceeded with the sale.

The action by West Northamptonshire Council Trading Standards follows a similar activity conducted in April 2022.

Challenge 25 Poster - Age Restricted Products

Officers have informed all stores that they should be adopting the Challenge 25 policy. The UK Vaping Industry Association’s (UKVIA) members Code of Conduct states that members must adopt the Challenge 25 policy for all sales of vaping products.

UKVIA says: “Vaping retailers should clearly communicate with their customers that it is enforcing the Challenge 25 policy. The UKVIA recommends that all retailers should have multiple signage points to demonstrate this, at least one in the window of stores and one at the point of sale. All staff should be trained to assess whether customers are 25 years of age, not just 18. ‘Does the person in front of me look 25 years old?’ If the answer to this question is no, then they should ask the customer in question for a valid proof of age. If the customer presents valid ID which confirms they are above the age of 18 then the sale can be completed.”

Last weekend, The Sunday Telegraph reported on an investigation it conducted in London where it discovered products that broke the law regarding strength and tank capacity for sale in “American candy stores”.

Despite the raids to date, the continuation of the illegal sale of superstrength disposable products to teenagers is deeply concerning.


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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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