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Liverpool City Council’s Public Protection Team seizes largest haul of illicit vapes yet

1 month ago

Liverpool City Council’s Public Protection Team seizes largest haul of illicit vapes yet
A Public Protection Enforcement Officer is pictured with Liverpool City Council’s record vapes seizure.

Liverpool City Council’s Public Protection team has scored a significant victory in the battle against illicit vapes with its largest seizure to date, uncovering over 3,500 illegal vapes from a single premises in the London Road area of Liverpool.

The operation, based on intelligence received by the council’s Public Protection team, saw officers from the local policing team collaborate to tackle the issue of illicit vapes head-on.

3,500 illicit vapes were seized from this one shop alone, with a street value of £42,000. This marks a significant escalation in efforts to curb the illegal sale of vaping products.

This haul surpasses previous records by threefold, illustrating the scale of the challenge faced in combating this trade. In 2024 alone, seizures of illegal vapes have totaled 18,500, with an estimated value exceeding £222,000.

As well as the illegality of the vapes, they also present a clear threat to public health. Research has shown that as illicit vapes are not regulated, many contain banned ingredients and oversized tanks for the nicotine liquid.

vapes. Credit: PA
vapes. Credit: PA

The work of the Council’s Alcohol and Tobacco Unit alongside City Law & Governance and Public Health colleagues has led to thousands of illicit vapes being taken
off the streets.

If you are aware of anyone selling alcohol or tobacco products illegally, you can report them to the Alcohol and Tobacco Unit anonymously.

Sales to under-18s can also be reported on the ‘Report Illegal Trading’ webpage here.

Matt Ashton, Director of Public Health at Liverpool City Council, said:

“This work sends a clear message to other retailers in our city who are trading in illegal products.

“While genuine vaping products continue to provide a viable alternative for those who want to quit smoking, the guidance remains that these should always be sourced from reputable retailers and if you don’t smoke already, don’t start vaping.”

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