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    Eight shops shut down in Liverpool over illegal vape sales

    Illegal vapes seized in Liverpool (Photo: Liverpool City Council)

    Eight retailers have been shut down since October last year in Liverpool for selling illegal vapes, often to young people who are under age, the city council has revealed.

    The closures were made using legislation that was first used during the Covid-19 pandemic to shut businesses that were engaging in anti-social behaviour.

    Liverpool City Council is the first in the North West of England to adopt this strategy. Shops that are found to be selling these illegal products are issued with fines and three-month closure orders.

    The council said this new approach has led to thousands of illicit vapes being taken off the streets, with over 1,200 being seized from one business alone.

    Many of the vapes seized by the council have been found to have nicotine levels that are much higher than the legal maximum of 20mg per ml, as well as other banned substances such as colourings, caffeine and taurine.

    “It is fantastic to see so many of these illegal products being removed from our streets, particularly as many can end up in the hands of our young people. Liverpool City Council is leading the way through this new approach in dealing with illegal sales,” Cllr Harry Doyle, Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for health, wellbeing and culture, said.

    “In many cases, these vapes have been designed with young people in mind, and there are clear health risks to these products given their illicit nature. We would urge smokers who use vapes as a means to quit smoking to buy them from reputable sellers.”

    Professor Matthew Ashton, Liverpool’s director of public health, said: “The risks that illicit vapes pose to health is clear, with many of them including ingredients that are unregulated. Legal vapes continue to be the most popular and effective smoking aid used by smokers trying to quit. While many choose to use them, it is important for people to be mindful of where they buy their vapes to ensure they meet the appropriate requirements. Our guidance continues to be that if you smoke, vaping is safer. If you don’t smoke – don’t vape.”

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