Tackle the supply of illicit vaping products
Work Areas

Intelligence gathering and national projects to tackle the supply of illicit vaping products

The project is led by National Trading Standards and key areas of work include:

  • Enabling the collection of detailed information on enforcement from local authorities to help inform government policy and better understand emerging trends in the vape sector. This is the first time data has been collected on a national level.
  • Supporting local authorities to increase enforcement work e.g. by assisting with storage and disposal of illicit vaping products, increasing regional and national intelligence analysis and providing a Vaping Expert Panel to unravel technical and legal barriers
  • Assessing compliance with age restriction laws by businesses who sell vapes online
  • Carrying out compliance testing on a range of products that have been notified to the MHRA
  • Stopping illegal products getting on to the UK market by stopping them at key ports.

Operation Joseph is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). It has been running since July 2023 and is funded until March 2025.

Core work to tackle the sale of vapes to children and remove illegal vapes from retail sale is carried out locally by local authority Trading Standards services using their own funding. Operation Joseph adds to and complements this work.

National Trading Standards is working with Government on ways it can support the range of new proposals to create a smoke free generation and tackle supply of illicit vapes to children.

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