Shops caught selling illegal vapes to underage children

Posted on: Wednesday 9 August 2023

Five shops have been caught selling vapes to children under the age of 18 during an operation to tackle the illegal sales of e-cigarettes. 

In a joint operation between Torfaen Council’s Trading Standards team and Gwent Police, shops in Torfaen were visited on Thursday 3 August by Police cadets, aged 14 to 17 who attempted to buy vapes.  

Two of the shops were found to be selling illegal vapes, which led to a search of both premises, resulting in Trading Standards Officers seizing more than 1,000 illegal vapes. A vehicle connected to one of the shops was also seized.  

A second search was carried out at one of the premises on Sunday 6 August, when over 100 additional illegal vapes were seized. 

It is against the law to sell vapes, disposable vapes or liquid containing nicotine to anyone under the age of 18. Further, disposable vapes must not contain a liquid volume greater than 2ml or approximately 600 ‘puffs’. 

Councillor Mandy Owen, Executive Member for Environment, said: “Over the last few years, there appears to be a trend of more young people experimenting with vapes as they consider them to be less dangerous to their health than cigarettes. 

“However, illegal vapes have been found to contain a range of harmful chemicals, which is why they can be extremely dangerous.  

“I would like to thank our Trading Standards Officers and Gwent Police for their efforts in identifying illegal trading practices and taking action against those who flout the law, putting consumers at risk.  

“I would urge anyone with concerns about shops selling vapes illegally to contact the Council’s Trading Standards team.” 

Investigations are ongoing into the businesses that sold vapes to the children under the age of 18, and those found selling illegal vapes.  

The sale of vapes containing nicotine to minors, carries a fine upon conviction of up to £2,500 for each offence, and anyone convicted of selling illegal vapes can face a fine and be sentenced to a maximum of 2 years imprisonment.  

The Trading Standards team can be contacted by email at or by phone on 01495 762200. Any information supplied will be treated in confidence. 

Undertaking test purchases of age restricted goods with partners supports the Council’s County Plan by championing children, young people and families so they can thrive. Read more about the County Plan.   

Last Modified: 18/09/2023 Back to top