UK: Authorities Seize Millions Of Illegal Vapes In Three Years, Shows Data UK: Authorities Seize Millions Of Illegal Vapes In Three Years, Shows Data

UK: Authorities Seize Millions Of Illegal Vapes In Three Years, Shows Data

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Official data reveals that millions of illegal and harmful vapes have been confiscated by government authorities in the UK over the last three years. Experts suggest that this is just the “tip of the iceberg” and a “tsunami” of illicit vaping products is flooding the UK market. These non-compliant vapes often contain high nicotine concentrations, banned ingredients, oversized tanks, or even harmful elements like lead, nickel, and chromium. This article explores the extent of the issue and the implications for public health.

The Scale of the Problem

According to reports from 125 local authorities, more than two and a half million illegal e-cigarettes have been seized since the beginning of 2020. Hillingdon borough council in west London alone confiscated 1,352,063 illicit vapes, highlighting the widespread availability of these non-compliant products.

Concerns for Public Health

Kate Pike, lead officer at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, warns that the seized vapes represent only a fraction of the non-compliant products being sold in UK shops. She reveals that the majority of these illegal vapes are originating from China and are easily accessible on high-street shelves.

Pike emphasizes the potential dangers for young people who are increasingly exposed to these products. Unclear packaging and lack of proper warnings further contribute to the risks associated with illegal vapes. While legal compliant vapes have been recognized to be significantly safer than traditional cigarettes, the potential health risks of illegal vapes remain unknown.

Industry Perspective

Speaking on the issue, Dan Marchant, Director of the vape retailer Vape Club, highlighted the potential dangers of illicit vape products. He points out that even though these products are often declared as “atomizers” on paperwork, their packaging clearly indicates they are intended for vaping purposes. This discrepancy raises concerns about the quality and safety of these products.

Government Response

The increasing prevalence of illegal vapes in the UK market calls for a robust government response. Authorities should prioritize stronger enforcement measures, including better regulation, stricter penalties for offenders, and enhanced collaboration with international partners to address the issue at its source.


The seizure of millions of illegal vapes in the UK over the past three years underscores the urgent need for action. With concerns about the potential health risks posed by illicit vaping products, the government must take decisive steps to protect public health and consumer safety. Stricter regulation and diligent enforcement are essential to combat the growing tsunami of non-compliant vapes flooding the market.

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