Unsafe vapes seized in Aberdeen

Trading Standards officers have seized disposable electronic cigarettes with more than five times the legal level of nicotine liquid from a shop in Aberdeen amid concerns underage children are accessing these products.

Vapes with fruit, mint and cotton candy flavours which look like highlighter pens and make-up products with a value of about £900 were taken in the seizure.

Officers from Aberdeen Council's trading standards service have visited stores in the city centre as part of a Scotland-wide project aimed at getting unsafe disposable vapes off sale. The Scottish Government recently wrote to all retailers which sell these devices advising them to check their stock.

Nicotine inhaling products containing more than 2% nicotine or with more than 2ml of liquid are illegal to sell as they do not comply with UK safety requirements. This trading standards work is essential to protecting anyone who vapes from the dangers of unsafe e-cigarettes as users are unknowingly risking their health by using these illegal nicotine products.

There is a requirement on e-cigarette manufacturers to get all these products approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency before being supplied in the UK and there are strict labelling guidelines. These include that they must provide a UK-based point of contact for the company, which was not the case with any of the seized items.

The Trading Standards service is contacting all distributors and retailers in Aberdeen to ensure that the law is fully understood and third parties take full responsibility for their actions, or potentially face a legal challenge.

Graeme Paton, Aberdeen City Council Trading Standards manager, said: 'It was unacceptable that vapers are unknowingly risking their health by using these unsafe disposable products.

“Illegal and counterfeit products are flooding into the market and consequently pose a potential health risk to customers. Inappropriately branded products are also being purposely marketed towards children.

“Parents may not realise their children are vaping these unsafe devices - they are brightly coloured and closely resemble highlighter pens or make-up products. They cost from £5 to £7 each.”

Shops in the city centre have reported to Trading Standards staff they have never had to check the age of so many young customers as they are doing now and also said youngsters are trying to buy ‘Geek’ and ‘Elf Bar’ products by congregating outside shops on Union Street, trying to get adults to buy the vapes for them.

Any adult caught buying vaping products for underage teenagers face an on-the-spot fixed penalty of £200.

Anyone with concerns or with information about illegal disposable vapes on sale in Aberdeen can contact Trading Standards on 0808 800 9060 or by email tradingstandards@aberdeencity.gov.uk.