Illegal vapes and fake tobacco products valued at £300,000 have been seized by Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards over the last 12 months – in their crackdown on retailers who sell vapes to under 18s.

Councillor Russell Oppenheimer, the County Council’s Cabinet lead for Regulatory Services which includes Trading Standards, explained: “Parents are rightly concerned about their children having access to vapes following an alarming rise in vaping by young people. The vast majority of traders in Hampshire act within the law. But we are putting more resource into catching the irresponsible minority whose actions put people at risk.

Our Trading Standards team has ramped up activity to clamp down on illegal and underage sales and, as a result. We have seized large amounts of illegal vapes that breached the legal limit of nicotine or that were sold illegally to underage people. We have also seized pouches of counterfeit tobacco which are not subject to the usual manufacturing standards and could contain any substances. This haul of 15,000 contraband items has been kept out of the hands of consumers and will now be destroyed. This is a great result that underscores our commitment to keeping people in Hampshire safe.”

Trading Standards continue to regularly visit businesses to ensure that retailers are complying with the law and that the correct measures are in place to prevent underage sales of vapes and other age restricted products. The team also undertakes test purchases using young volunteers to monitor if they will be sold products. If a business is found to be selling to anyone under the legal age, or found to be selling illegal products, they will be investigated which could lead to a criminal prosecution.

Anyone needing to report information concerning underage or illicit sales of cigarettes and vapes can contact Hampshire Trading Standards directly.

More information about Hampshire County Council Trading Standards can be found by visiting: