Fake vape warning given after shop raids find rip-offs

Beware of fake vapes this festive period in the Black Country, an industry leader as warned today.

This police dog sniffed out the contraband cigarettes and vapes
This police dog sniffed out the contraband cigarettes and vapes

Ruthless shopkeepers have been found to have been stocking fake vapes in the Black Country which can be dangerous to people's health, as well as a fire risk.

Recent raids in Walsall by Trading Standards officers found two shops had been selling the so called "bang" vapes which can have toxic levels of nicotine and other chemicals.

Birmingham vape company e-liquids.com has created a simple guide for users how to spot a fake from the real thing.

E-liquids.com general manager Jane Buxton said: "There is quite the talk at the moment of an influx of fake vape kits and liquids from China and more are expected in the run up to Christmas. They are being imported direct from China and are being sold in some convenience shops in the Black Country and Birmingham.

"These fake vapes have a number of potential problems and indeed could be dangerous, from not only the technical specs of the products (they haven't got to comply with tobacco legislation so all they have to do is use cheap stuff to make something), but also the amount of nicotine they contain."

She added: "The dangers are numerous, even the fire service warn how defective charging points could start fires. To the person, non compliant nicotine levels can cause all manner of physical problems such as heart palpitations. The worst outcome of course is death. If these things explode, catch fire, poison then they could be deadly hence we are pushing for people to use reputable retailers, or at least know how to spot potential fakes."

Customers should check if there is a unique verification code on packaging, look if logos are printed badly and new vape chargers should be USB - C connected and not the old fashioned micro usb cable charger.

Speaking after a successful raid in Walsall Councillor Garry Perry, deputy leader of Walsall Council with a portfolio for Resilient Communities, praised the dogs and officers who found the haul of dodgy tobacco and vapes.

He said: "My simple message to those criminals who think to trade in drugs, illicit tobacco and dodgy vapes is simple - it does not matter how clever you think you are - you cannot outwit these dogs, or Trading Standards and the Police."

"Make no mistake these type of products which are bought on the illegal market are a serious threat to health. Trading of this nature often has links to criminal activity like human trafficking, drug dealing and even terrorism."

For more information visit https://e-liquids.com.

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