Council continues crackdown on illegal vape sales with latest shop closure

Liverpool City Council has closed 15 stores selling illegal vapes since February 2024, as its operations targeting the sale of these devices continues.

The amount of vapes seized from the stores since January 2024 is now more than 18,000 – with the seized vapes having an estimated street value of around £220,000.

The most recent store to have been closed down is King Vape on Prescot Road, which shut this week.

Earlier in May, the team closed Reem Shisha Lounge on Duke Street in the city centre, for allowing shisha to be smoked in an enclosed space.

This is thought to be the first example of a shisha lounge being subject to a closure order in this way in the UK.

While genuine vaping products can be an effective tool for those looking to quit smoking, all of the vapes seized are illegal as they exceed the legal limit of 20mg per millilitre of Nicotine and 600 puffs.

Instead, many of them claim to offer between 3,500 and 9,000 puffs.

Prof Matt Ashton, Director of Public Health at Liverpool City Council, said: “The continued success of our work targeting illegal vapes has now resulted in a large number of these harmful products being taken out of circulation.

“The incredible work of the Alcohol and Tobacco Unit alongside City Law & Governance and Public Health colleagues, sends a clear message to other retailers in our city who are trading in illegal products.

“While genuine vaping products continue to provide a viable alternative for those who want to quit smoking, the guidance remains that these should always be sourced from reputable retailers and if you don’t smoke already, don’t start vaping.”

Anyone aware of the sale of alcohol or tobacco products illegally can report them to the Alcohol and Tobacco Unit anonymously. Sales to under 18s can also be reported on the ‘Report Illegal Trading’ webpage: