Lack of Law Enforcement for Illicit Vaping in UK

Lack of Law Enforcement for Illicit Vaping in UK
Lack of enforcement on illegal e-cigarette sales in major UK cities, with only two successful convictions in two years.

On June 7th, according to Conveniencestore sources, a study has shown that there is a lack of regulatory enforcement towards retailers who are selling electronic cigarettes illegally or not properly conducting age checks in the six major cities of the UK.

A research conducted by Arcus Compliance, a data agency on electronic cigarettes, reveals that only two shops have been successfully prosecuted for selling e-cigarette products to minors or illegal sales between 2021 and April 2023.

According to the data, the highest total fine for violations during this period in these cities was £1878. This figure falls short of the maximum fine of £2500 that an individual violator may face currently, and is far below the £10000 fine that most in the industry have been seeking.

This data also includes the activities of the Trading Standards in various London boroughs. Out of the five responses received by Arcus Compliance so far, only one successful prosecution case and a fine of £1000 were reported.

Robert Sidebottom, the General Manager of Arcus Compliance, stated:

The Bureau of Trade Standards has been calling for more resources and support, stating that inadequate manpower has led to ineffective enforcement against numerous dishonest businesses.

Said Seidbert, there have been concerns raised about both youth and illegal electronic cigarettes, yet there have been very few prosecutions and low levels of fines imposed so far.

We know that the Trade Standards Bureau wants and needs to do more.

The UK government has recently promised to allocate £3 million to establish a dedicated e-cigarette task force, as part of its efforts to combat illegal sales.

However, Siedenburg believes this is not enough. The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) has been calling for fines of £10,000 for businesses found illegally selling products or selling electronic cigarettes to children.

John Dunne, the Director General of UKVIA, believes that the measures will be meaningless if the Trading Standards Office does not have sufficient resources to enforce them. The government must take these new data seriously.

Eliminating loopholes and creating balanced policies are important steps, but if we do not enforce the existing fundamental laws, these measures will ultimately prove to be ineffective.

Reference: [1] Study reveals significant lack of enforcement in controlling illicit e-cigarettes.

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