Illegal vapes worth £1,500 have been seized as crackdown efforts continue in County Durham.

Durham County Council’s Trading Standards team and officers from Durham Constabulary targeted a shop in the north of the county following reports the retailer was selling counterfeit cigarettes and illegal vapes.

On searching the premises, the officers discovered 150 vape products that did not meet the legal requirements. The vapes were priced at £10 each.

Gary Carr, strategic regulations manager within Durham County Council’s Trading Standards team, said: “Many illegal vapes contain harmful chemicals and unsafe levels of lead, nickel and chromium, and therefore pose a serious health risk within our communities. What’s more, they attract crime and make it easier for children to access age-restricted products.

“We are committed to working with our partners to crackdown on the sale of illegal vapes and illicit tobacco, while also raising awareness of the dangers of using unregulated products.

“The intelligence we receive from the public is crucial and so I would urge anyone with information about the sale of illegal items to report it to us. I would also encourage retailers who are uncertain whether a product is genuine, or require any other advice or information, to get in touch. We are always happy to assist.”

A Durham Constabulary spokesperson said: “Illicit and dangerous tobacco and vapes can not only cause serious harm to people’s health, but the proceeds are often invested into organised crime and help fund more severe and violent offences.

“It is crucial that we work collectively with our partners to keep our communities safe, and this warrant is an excellent example of that.

“If you have any information regarding potential criminality in your community then please report it to us - we will always act on intelligence submitted to us.

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“Call us on 101 with any information, or 999 in an emergency.”

Information about the sale of illicit tobacco can be given anonymously, either by calling 0300 999 000 or visiting

To contact Durham County Council’s Trading Standards team, call 03000 260000.