Vape Retailers: How to Spot an Illicit Vape？
With the UK government’s recent announcement pledging to create an illicit vapes enforcement squad, Broughton has stepped up to help retailers identify these unauthorized products. As part of the country’s smoke-free 2030 ambition, promoting vapes is considered one of the four “critical must-dos” that aim to push smoking prevalence below 5% by the end of the decade.
The Current State of Vape Regulation in the UK
The UK has implemented a ‘light touch’ system for the notification of vape products so far. However, as Chris Allen, Chief Executive Officer at Broughton, points out, “we’re seeing an unprecedented number of illicit products being seized by trading standards.” This is a cause for concern and highlights the need for stricter regulation.
The Illicit Vapes Enforcement Squad
To tackle this issue, the UK government has pledged to create an illicit vapes enforcement squad. This specialized team will be responsible for monitoring and eliminating the distribution of illegal vape products.
Read more: Vape Laws in UK
Help Sheet for Retailers: Identifying Illicit Vapes
To aid retailers in identifying illicit vapes, Broughton has created a help sheet that can be downloaded in poster format. This checklist is designed for both distributors and retailers, and highlights six signs to spot on a product’s packaging that could indicate an e-cigarette might not be legal under UK regulations.
The Six Signs to Spot Illicit Vapes
1：Does the packaging state that the tank is 2 mL or less?
Greater than 2 ml of liquid is non-compliant. Anything stating 600+ puffs is likely to be non-compliant
2： What’s in the e-liquid?
Under UK regulations, the e-liquid must not have a nicotine concentration greater than 20 mg/mL or 2%. Your vape should also come with a list of ingredients on the packaging.
3：Is this information listed?
You should be able to find the amount of nicotine delivered per puff or a puff count, the batch number, a recommendation to keep the product out of reach of children and contact details for the manufacturer, such as an address, email and phone number。
4： Is there a health warning?
There should be a statement on the packaging reading…
5：Does the health warning text look okay?
The information displayed on the packaging should be: in bold black on a white background. It should also be central to the area provided. If it looks different from other products you’ve seen, it could be a red flag.
6. Can you see these certifications?
First, check for a CE or UKCA marking. Next, look for wheelie bin symbol with a line through it, which shows compliance with the WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU.
Read more: UK Vape Packaing Requirements
If the product you’re considering doesn’t meet the above, there is a risk it is illicit and what is inside the box might not be in line with UK safety and quality standards. You might want to consider an alternative vape product.
You can download the PDF version of the Checklist here>>>
The Importance of Identifying Illicit Vapes
By identifying and eliminating illicit vapes, we can ensure a safer market for both consumers and retailers. Illegal products may contain harmful ingredients or fail to meet safety standards, posing significant risks to users.
Eliminating illicit vapes is essential to achieving the UK’s smoke-free 2030 ambition. By promoting legal and compliant products, we can encourage a shift towards healthier alternatives to smoking.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the UK’s smoke-free 2030 ambition?
The UK’s smoke-free 2030 ambition aims to reduce smoking prevalence to below 5% by the end of the decade. This initiative includes promoting the use of vapes as a healthier alternative to traditional tobacco products.
- What is the purpose of the illicit vapes enforcement squad?
The illicit vapes enforcement squad is a specialized team created by the UK government to monitor and eliminate the distribution of illegal vape products. This team will work to ensure a safer and more regulated market.
- How can retailers and distributors use Broughton’s help sheet?
Broughton’s help sheet is a downloadable poster that retailers and distributors can display in their stores or warehouses. It provides a checklist of six signs to spot on a product’s packaging that may indicate an e-cigarette is illicit.
- Why is it important to identify and eliminate illicit vapes?
Identifying and eliminating illicit vapes ensures a safer market for both consumers and retailers. Illicit products may contain harmful ingredients or fail to meet safety standards, which can pose significant risks to users.
- How does eliminating illicit vapes support the UK’s smoke-free 2030 ambition?
By identifying and eliminating illicit vapes, we promote legal and compliant products that offer a healthier alternative to smoking. This helps encourage a shift away from traditional tobacco products, ultimately supporting the UK’s smoke-free 2030 ambition.