Day of multi-agency action in Ashford

Another day of action by Kent’s Trading Standards vape team and Kent Police in central Ashford has resulted in a further haul of illegal and non-compliant vapes and tobacco products.

On Friday (24 May), three shops were visited with 66 tubs of nicotine pouches, 880 vapes, 1,680 cigarette sticks and 600g of hand rolling tobacco seized.

Jim Whiddett, Trading Standards Operations Manager, said: “The partnership approach to Friday’s activity enabled officers to deal with the premises in an effective way. Trading Standards will continue to remove illegal tobacco, vapes and nicotine pouches from shops in Kent as this illegal activity brings criminals into our communities and can encourage children to smoke or vape due to the cheap price of the products.”

The Trading Standards vape team has now been in operation for six months and in that time have:

  • removed more than 12,000 illegal vapes from the streets of Kent
  • conducted in excess of 600 visits to Kent retailers, providing advice on legal products and reducing the risk of sales to under 18s.

The team have seen various types of illegal vapes, the largest being a 15,000 puff device with a single tank - well over 20 times the size for a legal product.

They are also seeing devices without the correct labelling or warnings, meaning they have not passed the appropriate checks to ensure they are safe to use, increasing the risk to consumers.

James continued: “It is clear from some of the evidence that some shops are continuing to supply illegal products despite the team’s advice. We will continue to work with partner agencies to engage with retailers to ensure compliance or disrupt this illegal activity with further interventions when appropriate.”

PC Aaron Hobday, from Ashford’s Beat Team, said: “As neighbourhood policing officers, we use any information we pick up during our beat to keep people safe, be that from crime or illegal products like these.

“By working with Trading Standards in this instance, we are helping to keep Ashford safe and preventing potentially dangerous products from being sold to the public.”

Further information

If you're worried about the sale of underage tobacco and vapes in your area then report it to our vape team at or contact the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You'll stay 100 per cent anonymous, always.