‘Biggest-ever’ seizure of illegal vapes in Liverpool

Public protection officers in Liverpool make the largest seizure of illegal vapes from a single premises the city has ever seen. Tony McDonough reports

Biggest-ever seizure of illicit vapes in London Road in Liverpool


Police and public protection officials have seized 3,500 illicit vapes from a shop in Liverpool city centre – the largest ever for a single premises in the city.

Liverpool City Council’s public protection team led the operation, targeting a shop in London Road, following a tip-off. Officers from the local policing team also took part.

During the inspection, warehouse quantities of illicit vapes were uncovered. More than 3,500 vapes were taken from this one shop alone, with a total street value of £42,000.

This is three times the previous largest total seized from one premises, which was 1,200, and takes seizures in 2024 to 18,500 illegal vapes with an estimated total value of more than £222,000.

Matt Ashton, director of public health at Liverpool City Council, said: “This work sends a clear message to other retailers in our city who are trading in illegal products.

“While genuine vaping products continue to provide a viable alternative for those who want to quit smoking, the guidance remains that these should always be sourced from reputable retailers. If you don’t smoke already, don’t start vaping.”

As well as the illegality of the vapes, they also present a clear threat to public health. Research has shown that as illicit vapes are not regulated, many contain banned ingredients and oversized tanks for the nicotine liquid.

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The work of the council’s Alcohol and Tobacco Unit alongside city law and governance and public health officials has led to thousands of illicit vapes being taken off the streets.

People who are aware of anyone selling alcohol or tobacco products illegally can report them to the Alcohol and Tobacco Unit anonymously. Click here for more information.

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