Wrexham magistrates court has issued a court order (Wednesday 29 November) closing the Vape Shop at 30 High Street in Wrexham city centre for 3 months until 28 February 2024.
The application for the order was made by Trading Standards Officers from the Council’s Public Protection Service following a history of the supply of illegal vaping products by “The Vape Shop” who had been trading at the address. In September 2023 over 3000 illegal disposable vapes were seized with a retail value of around £30,000.
Officers have engaged with the owner of the business, Mr Akram Kadir, to explain the law and how to avoid illegal products. Despite this, recent test purchases of vapes show that the sale of illegal product continued.
Vaping has increased in popularity over the past ten years and is widely recognised as effective way to quit smoking tobacco. However, more recently there has been an explosion of interest in disposable vapes with people who have never smoked trying them out. It is illegal to sell vape products to under 18s but in spite of this vapes have proved to be popular with young people and many of the products available are child appealing with sweet flavours and brightly coloured packaging. Some illegal products have even used the names of well known sweets to promote them.
Although much less harmful than smoking tobacco, using vapes is not risk free. For that reason the law imposes specific restrictions on disposable vapes with a maximum capacity and a maximum nicotine strength. There are also strict labelling requirements. Illegal vapes of the kind found at The Vape Shop were found to breach these restrictions presenting a significant potential threat to the health of people using them.
Lead Member for Public Protection, Councillor Terry Evans said, “The rapid rise in the use of vapes by people who have never smoked and their use by children is very concerning and it is good to see that UK and Welsh Government are actively considering new legislation to tackle the problem.
“The sale of over strength and oversized product in our community is of particular concern and we will not hesitate to use the legal powers we have to protect the health and wellbeing of our young people. I welcome the result of this action with the very practical impact of closing the premises for a considerable period of time.
“This disruption not only affects the owner of the business but also the property owner who will be unable to use or rent the premises for any purpose for the next 3 months. If you are a landlord or property agent with tenants who break the law in this way please be aware that similar action may be taken resulting in the loss of use of the premises by order of the Court.”
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