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    Crackdown on illegal vaping sees thousands seized in Ipswich

    The vapes seized by Suffolk Trading Standards breached legislation governing the number of puffs allowed. (Photo: Suffolk Trading Standards via LDRS).

    By Joao Santos, Local Democracy Reporter  

    Suffolk’s crackdown on illegal vaping has led to 2,500 seized from an Ipswich shop.

    Suffolk Trading Standards officers found the illegal vapes in a storeroom during a visit following a successful test purchase.

    Although the council acknowledges the importance of vaping as a means to quit smoking altogether, Cllr Andrew Reid, cabinet member for public health and public protection at Suffolk County Council, said: “Illegal devices such as these have nothing to do with helping people quit smoking.

    “Instead, they exacerbate the problem of inappropriate vaping.”

    The vaping industry has come under fire in recent months due to the spread of illegal vapes which contain much larger tanks, with exceptionally high nicotine strength.

    These are also often marketed with bright colours and without smoking warnings which, Suffolk’s Tobacco Control Alliance says, gives the devices a dangerous ‘child-appealing nature’.

    In Suffolk schools, a recent Healthwatch Suffolk survey found 11 per cent of students between Year 6 and Year 13 are already vaping, nearly half of which have never smoked before.

    This is particularly worrisome as Suffolk authorities have begun to be aware of organised crime getting involved in vaping illegal markets.

    PCC Tim Passmore, who has recently appealed for ‘vigorous enforcement and prosecutions’, said the seizure is an ‘excellent example of great partnership working between Trading Standards and the police’.

    He added: “This operation sends out a clear message to the suppliers of these dangerous vapes that the authorities are on the case and the law will be applied as necessary.

    “I would like to take this opportunity to also implore all retailers selling vapes to check the ages of younger customers.

    “The law is quite clear, it is illegal to sell these products to underage children.”

    Following the seizure, Graham Crisp, head of Suffolk Trading Standards, said the public body would continue to clamp down on illegal vaping activity.

    He said: “The legislation is in place to help protect the public, and businesses who break those regulations can expect tough penalties.

    “We will continue to carry out checks on retailers across Suffolk, taking legal action where necessary.”

    (Local Democracy Reporting Service)

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