Illegal disposable vape products vaping

Independent retailers have been told to watch out for a growing number of illegal disposable vaping products in the market this year.

E-liquid manufacturer Love Flavours’ commercial sales manager, Nick Roman, told betterRetailing there is a “gold-rush” in the category, but stores need to be aware of non-compliant vape products.

He said: “There was a great two years of products coming into the market when the category started to become really popular. Then, all of a sudden, there was a surge of not-so-sophisticated versions being sold that had been created abroad.”

Last September, betterRetailing saw letters sent to retailers by Highlands trading standards officer Catherine Cumming explaining there had been a recent “rise in reports across the UK of illegal vaping products being found on sale”.

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Roman added: “Trading standards doesn’t have direct funding to deal with this issue. It can be a minefield to understand what is breaking the law and what isn’t.”

When asked how retailers can stay within the law when stocking disposables, Roman advised: “Always ask to see the paperwork and a VAT invoice. If the supplier can’t provide that, then you have to question the size of that company, and it’s likely they aren’t genuine.

“There is usually a code on the side of the product that you can check against the MHRA portal, which lists all the compliant brands.”

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