Illegal vapes found in West Sussex

An urgent warning has been issued after hundreds of illegal disposal e-cigarettes were seized from shops in West Sussex.

West Sussex Trading Standards officers uncovered sales of Geek Bar Pro – a powerful and brightly coloured disposable vape – available in a range of child-appealing flavours, such as icy cola, orange soda and lush ice.

141 of the illicit nicotine devices were seized during raids of two convenience shops in Crawley following a tip off from a local resident.

The disposable e-cigarettes, priced from around £6, are pre-filled with 4.5ml of nicotine and generally last for up to 1500 puffs before you're meant to throw them away.

Concerningly, the Geek Bar Pro model contains nicotine levels twice the UK legal limit and have not been authorised to be sold by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Peter Aston, West Sussex Trading Standards Team Manager said: “These products do not meet legal requirements and we’re working hard to make sure retailers in West Sussex remove them from sale.

“Both customers and retailers are urged to check whether a product has been authorised for sale by checking the MHRA database at: https://products.mhra.gov.uk.”

In the UK, the legal capacity of an e-cigarette tank is 2 ml, whereas the Geek Bar Pro is more than double this size at 4.5ml. The product should have the name and address of a UK contact if the producer is based outside of the UK, but the Geek Bar Pro did not have this information.

All e-cigarettes must comply with the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations minimum standards for the safety and quality of all e-cigarettes and e-liquid containers.

Duncan Crow, Cabinet Member for Community Support, Fire and Rescue, said: “Trading Standards officers are taking action to get these products off shop shelves – protecting the health and wellbeing of people in West Sussex and ensuring local retailers and wholesalers are selling only legal vaping products.”

If you’ve spotted the sale of illegal vapes in West Sussex, you can report it to West Sussex Trading Standards online: www.westsussex.gov.uk/TSReport.

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