Illegal super-strength vapes have been impounded after the Mail revealed they were being sold to children.
In a string of raids, trading standards officers seized e-cigs with more than double the legal level of nicotine.
Our investigation found that Geek Bar Pros, which are the equivalent of smoking 125 cigarettes, were widely available in shops and online.
With nicotine levels as high as 5 per cent, they are so powerful that young users have reported nose bleeds, coughing up blood, headaches, chest pains and dizzy spells. The legal maximum nicotine level is 2 per cent. Despite it being illegal to sell vapes to under-18s, social media is awash with posts from teenagers describing being ‘addicted’ to the disposable devices, which cost between £5 and £7.
Officers from Oxfordshire County Council’s trading standards unit swooped on 13 stores following calls from concerned parents.
They confiscated vapes with fruit, bubble gum and ice-cream flavours. Oxfordshire councillor Neil Fawcett said: ‘It is unacceptable that vapers are unknowingly risking their health by using these illegal nicotine- intensive products.’
Despite it being illegal to sell vapes to under-18s, social media is awash with posts from teenagers describing being ‘addicted’ to the disposable devices
John Dunne, of the UK Vaping Industry Association. said: ‘Illegal and counterfeit products are flooding into the market and consequently pose a potential health risk to customers. Inappropriately branded products are also being purposely marketed towards children.’
Leaked industry figures reveal that Geek Bar products, including the Geek Bar Pros, are selling at a rate of 53,000 a week in the UK, up from 2,000 in May. But these figures do not include online sales, which are likely to be one of the main ways children get them.
A spokesman for China-based Geek Bar said: ‘We do not in any way condone the selling of vapes to those under the age of 18, nor the selling of non-compliant products.
‘We are contacting all distributors and retailers that we work with to ensure that this is fully understood and that these third parties take full responsibility for their actions, or potentially face a legal challenge.’
Public Health England has warned about illegal super-strength vapes after a youngster needed hospital treatment.