More than £200k worth of illegal vapes seized in Liverpool sting operations

Items were seized in raids on three premises in Liverpool this week.
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A series of sting operations conducted by authorities in Liverpool has seized 19,000 illegal vapes with a street value of £228,000. The joint operations between Merseyside Police, Liverpool City Council’s Alcohol and Tobacco Unit and Public Health Liverpool began on 1 April 2003.

More than 1,000 illegal vapes with a street value of £12,000 were seized in raids on three premises this week. They all receive a closure order warning letter spelling out the consequences if they re-stock or re-offend in the future.

Councillor Harry Doyle, Cabinet Member for Culture and Public Health, who attended the seizures, said: “Removing these illegal products from sale in our city is a big priority as we know the damage it's doing, especially to young people.”

Meanwhile, Directors of Public Health in Cheshire and Merseyside's nine local council areas – including Liverpool – have expressed their concern about the increase in the use of vapes.

More than 1,000 illegal vapes with a street value of £12,000 are seized in an operation involving Liverpool City Council, Merseyside Police and Public Health Liverpool. Image: Liverpool City CouncilMore than 1,000 illegal vapes with a street value of £12,000 are seized in an operation involving Liverpool City Council, Merseyside Police and Public Health Liverpool. Image: Liverpool City Council
More than 1,000 illegal vapes with a street value of £12,000 are seized in an operation involving Liverpool City Council, Merseyside Police and Public Health Liverpool. Image: Liverpool City Council

Health bosses and councils are particularly concerned with the marketing of vapes with designs and flavours that could appeal to children, particularly those with fruity and bubble gum flavours and colourful child-friendly packaging. They want strict new measures to regulate the display and marketing of regular vaping products in the same way as tobacco.

The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England and Wales, is calling for the Government to ban the sale and manufacture of these single use vapes due to their significant contribution to the rise in underage vaping.