Police Scotland and North Ayrshire Trading Standards have been clamping down on the sale of the illicit products over the past couple of months.
They were also checking shops’ age verification processes, after members of the local community told police of their concern for the increase in young people reportedly acquiring vape products, despite being under the legal purchase age of 18.
In their most recent ‘raid’ in Irvine, Police Scotland confirmed and shared images showing that 839 illegal disposable vape products were taken from one store in the town – which they have not named.
They say some of the e-cigarettes are advertised to contain 9,000 puffs – 15 times the UK’s 600-puff limit, and the nicotine equivalent of about 720 cigarettes.
It is the fourth time this year the force has confirmed the seizure of products from Irvine shops.
At the beginning of the month, they removed nearly 700 illegal nicotine products – which also included counterfeit cigarettes and illicit tobacco pouches – from one shop.
While another saw nearly 400 products taken away in a similar raid.
And back in January, 130 illegal vapes were seized from another shop in the town.
Speaking after one of the previous raids, Police Scotland’s local ‘preventions and interventions officer’, PC Jenner said officers would continue to work to disrupt their sale.
He said: “Whilst we continue to receive reports of shops reportedly selling vapes to the under-aged and selling illicit tobacco and vape products, we will continue to work with partner agencies to disrupt them.
“We regularly assist the North Ayrshire Trading Standards team in their vital work to crack down on unscrupulous retailers and illegal products.
“However, it is also worth noting that several local retailers demonstrated stringent ‘Challenge 25’ protocols for their sale of UK compliant vape and tobacco products.
“If you know of stores selling to young persons under 18 or selling illicit/counterfeit nicotine products, please report them.”
You can contact Police Scotland by calling 101, alternatively you can also call Crimestoppers Scotland/Fearless for guaranteed anonymity on 0800 555111.