Illegal vapes warning for Kent

Kent shops and consumers are being urged to put health first and check the vapes they sell and use respectively are legal.


Vapes should not contain more than 20mg/ml, or 2%, nicotine

The warning comes after Kent County Council Trading Standards offices seized thousands of illegal e-cigarette devices, including Vapeman, Magic Bar, Elf Bar and Geek Bar Pro, in various operations over a fortnight.

Out of 6,807 unlawful vapes seized, 1759 were over-size, with some devices found to be six times bigger than the legal limit, exceeding 12 millilitres (ml) of liquid.

Other over-sized devices registered a nicotine strength of 50milligram (mg)/ml – making them two-and-a-half times over the legal 20mg/ml limit.

Many devices had not received the required safety approvals from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), meaning there was no manufacturer guarantee the vapes were free of dangerous substances.

The remaining 5048 vapes seized did not have the required MHRA approval or failed to meet labelling requirements necessary to make the product safe.

Principal Trading Standards Officer Oliver Jewell said: “Kent Trading Standards is working hard to get these hazardous products off the shelves.

“Disposable e-cigarette devices are considered trendy and appeal to young people. They are also designed to help smokers break the habit.

“But with the surge in popularity of vaping, some products are being rushed onto the UK market, or diverted from other overseas markets, and may not have been through the full UK checks to make sure they are safe.

“As a result, illegal vapes can pose a danger to health. Business who sells vapes that don’t have the right approvals are also breaking the law and could face fines.”

Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory services, Mike Hill, said: “We are concerned about the high volume of devices found that failed to meet the required safety standards.

“We want consumers and businesses to always check products meet safety requirements so no one’s health is put at risk.

“If anyone has concerns illegal vapes are being sold, including to young people, please report them to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline 0808 223 1133.

“Kent business wanting help and advice can contact Trading Standards by calling 03000 412020 or emailing

How to spot an illegal e-cigarette device  


If the e-cigarette does not meet the following requirements, it is unlikely to have been properly approved and could contain harmful substances:

▶️ No more than 2ml of e-liquid content, this is typically around 600 puffs

▶️ No stronger than 20mg/ml or 2% nicotine

▶️ Labelled with a UK or EU address


Retailers should only stock products that are legally approved for sale in this country. Non-compliant stock may be seized as it must be removed from the supply chain. Ensure vape products have:  

▶️ No more than 2ml of e-liquid content

▶️ No stronger than 20mg/ml or 2% nicotine

▶️ Labelled with a UK or EU address – which should indicate the product has been produced for this market and is more likely to have followed the correct safety approval process. Your supplier should provide ECID or UKID numbers. Check that these are valid.


Illegal vapes warning for Kent was last modified: February 9th, 2022 by Scarlett Elworthy