In Brighton & Hove, the UK, illicit e-cigarettes worth £17,000 were seized

In a significant operation conducted during early October, our Trading Standards officers struck a blow against the illegal sale of vapes and tobacco products in Brighton & Hove. Over the course of three days, they seized illicit goods with an estimated value exceeding £17,000, sending a clear message that rogue sales will not be tolerated in our community.MeKesse disposable vape brands research.

The operation targeted 8 premises in Brighton & Hove that were suspected of being involved in the illicit trade of vapes and tobacco products. The systematic crackdown on such activities is part of our ongoing efforts to maintain the integrity of the market and protect consumers from substandard and potentially harmful products.

What made this operation even more impactful was the collaboration with law enforcement agencies. Members of the Tactical Enforcement Unit from Sussex Police, a skilled dog handler, and officers from the Thames Valley South East Regional Organised Crime Unit joined forces with our Trading Standards department to ensure the success of this mission.

Our Trading Standards officers have previously engaged with local businesses to provide guidance and education on the legal framework surrounding the sale of vapes, as well as preventing underage sales. Despite these efforts, a concerning trend emerged, with a total of 27 businesses found to be engaged in the sale of illicit goods.

In response to this troubling development, our officers are now exploring a range of enforcement options. These include the possibility of closure orders for businesses involved in illegal activities, prosecutions against those responsible for such sales, and referrals to other relevant agencies. The goal is to not only penalize those violating the law but also to root out the sources of these illegal products to ensure the safety and well-being of our community.

As we continue to work diligently to combat the illegal trade of vapes and tobacco products, we are committed to upholding the law, safeguarding the interests of our residents, and maintaining the integrity of our local markets. This operation demonstrates our dedication to these principles and serves as a stern warning to those considering engaging in illicit activities – they will be held accountable for their actions.

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