OVER 400 ‘non-compliant’ vapes have been seized from shops in Westmorland and Furness since April.

Westmorland and Furness Council seized 451 ‘non-compliant’ vapes between April 2023 and the end of February 2024 according to a council report prepared for the health and adults overview and scrutiny committee.

The report states: “Acting on intelligence received by Trading Standards regarding the supply of illicit vapes has led to the removal of 451 non-compliant vapes from the market. Routine business advice to ensure traders are aware of the legislative requirements for selling vapes.”

Trading Standards have also undertaken underage test purchasing exercises in Penrith, Kendal, Ulverston, Dalton and Barrow.

According to the report 27 premises have been visited of which two premises sold vapes to the underage volunteer. Warning letters were issued to the traders and revisits are ongoing, the report adds.

This comes as in November 2023 a vaping task force was established in Furness to address and tackle youth vaping. The report states the aim of the taskforce is to take a ‘collaborative and community-informed approach’ to protect young people, under 18 years of age, from the harms of vapes.

Cabinet member for adults, health and care, councillor Patricia Bell, previously said: “It is worrying to see the reported increase in children using vapes when little is known about the long-term side effects.

“I welcome this taskforce and would encourage parents to speak to their children to educate them around the potential dangers.”

Trading Standards report a third of vape products sold in the UK are not compliant with regulations and have been found to have over-capacity tank sizes or a higher than permitted concentration of nicotine.

The council report adds: “CADAS (Cumbria Addictions: Advice and Solutions) has been commissioned to deliver vaping harm training/support for schools and other settings that support young people aged 10 – 16 years. This preventative programme is to respond to the growing concern and increase in incidence and reporting of young people using e-cigarettes.”

Members of the health and adult overview and scrutiny committee will discuss the report on March 7 at Kendal Town Hall.