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    Over 10,000 illegal vapes seized by Oxfordshire County Council

    Image from Oxfordshire County Council

    A warning has been issued by Oxfordshire County Council’s trading standards team about the dangers of illegal disposable vapes after total seizures across the county reached 10,000.

    This reflects a national trend amid safety concerns and a proposed ban on disposable vapes announced by government in January. Figures from the Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) charity suggest 7.6 per cent of 11 to 17 year olds now vape regularly or occasionally, up from 4.1 per cent in 2020.

    Councillor Dr Nathan Ley, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Inequalities and Community Safety, said: “Rechargeable vapes are a proven tool for adult smokers to help with quitting smoking and are almost twice as effective as other forms of nicotine replacement therapy. However, they should not be used by children or non-smokers as nicotine is highly addictive, with withdrawal sometimes causing anxiety, trouble concentrating and headaches. This is alongside other unknown long-term effects on health.”

    Jody Kerman, Oxfordshire County Council’s Head of Trading Standards, said: “We have recently seen a very concerning but unfortunately predictable development where reasonably sophisticated concealments, secured by electromagnet, have been used in an attempt to evade detection. This is clear evidence that illegal vapes are now being deliberately sold by organised crime groups”.

    “Whilst the Tobacco and Vapes Bill is very welcome, this is clearly going to be a significant problem for many years to come”.

    How to spot an illegal vape?

    Check the packaging for the following tell-tale signs that a disposable vape may be illegal:

    • A nicotine content above 2 per cent (or 20mg/ml)
    • The capacity above 2ml
    • A puff count above 1,200
    • No UK address for an importer/manufacturer
    • A health warning that doesn’t include the exact wording “This product contains nicotine which is a highly addictive substance”

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