Illicit tobacco and vapes seized from recently opened business in Barton-upon-Humber

Council News
13:00, Friday, 22nd March 2024

A small convenience shop recently opened in Barton-upon-Humber immediately sparked concerns with local residents and businesses for selling illicit tobacco and under 18-year-olds purchasing e-cigarettes.

Within a matter of days of One Shop Mini Market opening, North Lincolnshire Trading Standards received multiple complaints regarding the illicit activity.

On inspection, Trading Standards and Humberside Police found oversized vapes with tank capacity ranging from 4.5mls to 18mls on the shelf (tank capacity are limited to 2mls) and illicit tobacco hidden in a chair under the seat cushion.

The shop is very small, and the quantities seized were 47 e-cigarettes, 34 packets of illicit cigarettes and 13 packets of hand rolling tobacco.

Enquiries are ongoing but hopefully early intervention will stop this type of activity from continuing.

Cllr Carl Sherwood, cabinet member for Safer, Stronger, Communities (Rural) said: “I would like to thank our Trading Standards officers and Humberside Police for their speedy reaction in this case and for stamping out the illicit activity that was taking place.

“There has been a concerning rise in the number of children using vapes, and we are determined to come down hard on unscrupulous traders. Illicit vapes can cause serious health issues and the fact they are being sold to youngsters is even more worrying.

“This sort of activity will not be tolerated within our communities and our children must be protected.”

Tens of thousands of illicit vapes are regularly intercepted at Killingholme port, but thousands more are seized from shops.

Trading Standards have written hundreds of advisory and warning letters to premises reminding them of their legal obligations around vapes.

The penalties for selling vapes to under 18s can be a fine of up to £2,500 per offence. For the sale or possession of illicit vapes, the penalty can be an unlimited fine and/or up to two years imprisonment per offence.

If anyone wants to report the sale of vapes to under-18s or the sale of non-compliant vapes, please email trading.standards@northlincs.gov.uk or telephone 01724 297664.