Around 3,000 illegal vapes have been seized in Kensington & Chelsea, worth approximately £24,000, as the council has issued a warning over the targeted attempts to get young people vaping.
Retailers in the borough are using food brand names such as Fanta or Skittles to encourage young people to buy vapes, the council revealed.
The illegal vapes are being sold throughout Kensington & Chelsea, but most products have been seized from premises in the Portobello and Earls Court areas.
Additionally, warning letters have been issued to six traders.
Lead member for Local Economy & Employment Cllr Josh Rendall said: “These vapes are being designed and marketed to purposefully mislead people.
“They have no place in our borough. I am particularly worried about these products being sold to young people.
“Our trading standards team will continue to work hard to protect people from products that are non-compliant or misleading.”
The cause of the issue is believed to stem from US law that prohibits high volume and high strength vapes meaning they can longer be sold to the US market.
Many of the products confiscated carry the US health warning and are being smuggled into the UK.
Some vapes can leak with the risk of exposure to liquid nicotine which is poisonous and could cause serious harm or possibly death.
The council has also released a list of top tips to be aware of:
- Genuine products will have the following health warning ‘This product contains nicotine which is a highly addictive substance’ covering 30% of the front and back of the packet.
- Vapes should have a maximum tank size of 2ml. A vape pen should provide no more than 600-800 puffs. The highest nicotine strength for vapes is 2%. The nicotine liquid should not contain any additives or any ingredients such as caffeine or taurine.
- Retailers should note selling e-cigarettes or vapes to anyone under 18 is illegal in the UK, and every vaping product sold containing nicotine must be registered by the medicines and healthcare products regulator, the MHRA.
- Vaping can help some people quit smoking. Although it is less harmful than smoking it is not harmless. Vaping is not for non-smokers. The best thing you can do for your health is to be smoke free and vape free.
If you would like to report anything such as a business or a product, you can contact RBKC’s trading standards team at: [email protected].