PEOPLE who vape are being warned about the dangers of illegal, disposable e-cigarettes after hundreds of such products were found and seized from 13 stores across the Cherwell area.

Oxfordshire County Council has become aware of disposable e-cigarettes with a nicotine content of five per cent being sold throughout the county.

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Nicotine inhaling products containing more than two per cent nicotine are illegal to sell as they do not comply with UK safety requirements.

Reports have also been received from concerned parents about the apparent use of these disposable devices by children who are not old enough to legally purchase them, and that parents may not be able to recognise them as e-cigarettes.

Councillor Neil Fawcett, the county council's cabinet member for community services and safety, said: “This detection work is essential in protecting anyone who vapes from the dangers of illegal e-cigarettes. We understand that vaping can be a useful tool in assisting people to quit smoking.

"But it is unacceptable that vapers are unknowingly risking their health by using these illegal nicotine-intensive products.”

There is a requirement on e-cigarette manufacturers to get these products approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency before sale.
There are strict labelling guidelines including that they must provide a UK-based point of contact for the company, which was not the case with the seized items.

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Councillor Andrew McHugh, Cherwell District Council’s lead member for health and wellbeing, said: “Our community wardens have been working closely with Oxfordshire County Council’s trading standards team in tracking down and preventing the sale of illegal, disposable e-cigarettes.

"It’s essential work; protecting anyone who vapes from the dangers of these illegal nicotine-intensive products. For those who vape our message is simple – if the box indicates the nicotine content is over two per cent, don’t buy it.”

Jody Kerman, Oxfordshire County Council’s head of trading standards, said: “We have removed hundreds of illegal, disposable e-cigarettes from stores and are now working with retailers to ensure that any devices they do stock in future are legally compliant.

"If you want to support the detection work already being done by Cherwell District Council’s community wardens and Trading Standards please contact us.”

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Oxfordshire is aiming to be one of the first counties in England to go smoke-free – meaning fewer than one in twenty adults still smoking – by 2025.

Anyone with information about the sale of illegal, disposable e-cigarettes can report to trading standards via the Citizens Advice consumer service online or by calling 0808 223 1133.

If smokers wish to quit, they can get support from Stopforlife, by calling 0800 122 3790 or by texting STOPOXFORD to 60777.

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