Liverpool City Council makes largest seizure of illegal vapes to date

Liverpool City Council’s Public Protection team has made its largest seizure of illicit vapes in a single premises to date.  

The shop, located in the London Road area of Liverpool city centre, was visited based on intelligence received by the council’s Public Protection team. Officers from the local policing team were also in attendance.

During the inspection, warehouse quantities of illicit vapes were uncovered – in total, over 3,500 vapes were taken from this one shop alone, with a total street value of £42,000.

This is three times the previous largest total seized from one premises, which was 1,200, and takes seizures in 2024 to 18,500 illegal vapes with an estimated total value of over £222,000.

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.” 

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. 

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: https://liverpool.gov.uk/contact-us/service-area/report-illegal-trading/ 

Image: A Public Protection Enforcement Officer is pictured with Liverpool City Council’s record vapes seizure

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