Threat of Illegal Tobacco Products to Vape Businesses

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Norfolk e-cigarette shop owners warn that the sale of illegal tobacco products threatens their business and lacks regulation.

According to a recent report from Edp24, the owner of an e-cigarette shop in Norfolk, UK, has claimed that a nearby store is selling illegal tobacco products, posing a threat to their business. One shop owner even warned that the lack of regulation could permanently destroy the industry.

Dave Clarke, owner of The Vape Gurus, has cautioned that a lack of regulation is posing a threat to the industry.

After successfully quitting his habit of smoking 70 cigarettes a day, he proceeded to manage this business which now has storefronts in North Walsham, Aylsham, and Sheringham.

In the early years as more and more people turn to e-cigarette products as a means to gradually quit smoking, Mr. Clarke says that his expertise is in high demand.

However, with an increasing number of non-smokers turning to e-cigarettes, he stated that now most local convenience stores and newsstands are stocking and selling disposable e-cigarettes.

He stated, “The issue with disposable e-cigarettes is that many of them contain high amounts of nicotine, up to 20 milligrams, which poses a significant health risk. Those selling these products often lack a true understanding of their impact on health. Another major concern is the influx of illegal products into stores that go unchecked and unnoticed.”

The legal volume limit for e-liquids in the UK is 2 milliliters, which is roughly equivalent to 600 puffs. Mr. Clarke stated that he frequently hears customers claim that they can purchase products containing over 2000 puffs.

He stated, “People saw that they could buy these high suction devices at a cheaper price and deemed it a better deal—hence we lost many customers.”

The UK government established regulations in 2016 regarding the types of e-cigarettes that can be sold. However, Mr. Clarke argues that the provision of a maximum fine of £5000 is insufficient in deterring retailers from taking risks.

He said, “We need to see stronger measures implemented against violators. If such crackdowns do not occur, it is highly likely that e-cigarette shops will go out of business.”

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