Inquiry Shows Extent of Illicit Vapor Market in Liverpool

An inquiry into the extent of the illicit vaping and e-cigarette products market has revealed the scale of Liverpool, England’s growing black market. City council trading standards officers found large numbers of retailers in the city selling illegal vaping products.

Credit: SYCprod

Vaping devices are highly regulated by the government to control the amount of nicotine available and have to be approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA), according to a story in Liverpool’s Echo newspaper. The devices should contain no more than 2 percent nicotine or hold more than two millilitres of liquid, equivalent to 600 puffs or a packet of cigarettes.

However, in a recent test purchasing exercise across the city to check on compliance, officers were able to buy illegal products at 74 retailers – some containing up to 3,500 puffs, almost six times above the legal limit. Now council is offering the retail trade the opportunity to contact Trading Standards for advice on their products with the proviso that compliance visits will be carried out in the New Year and any illegal products still on sale will be seized.

The council have also been receiving a large number of complaints over the sale of these products to children and is asking parents with information and evidence to contact them. Councilor Abdul Qadir, cabinet member for Neighborhoods, said: “E-cigarettes and vaping products are seen by many people as a way of giving up smoking.”