Decision details


Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Key points from the discussion:

1.    The Team Manager highlighted the following areas of the report: -

a)    the government announced at the end of January that they were going to ban disposable vapes. Authorities received the draft legislation for their feedback on it. It was feedback that there were gaps in the legislation around powers, for example it was said that could sample products rather than seizing them.

b)    The £30 million funding linked to smokefree policy that was announced a while back was still being discussed.  The majority was expected to go to HMRC and Border Force. Anticipating that £5,000,000 will come to Trading Standards nationally, possibly to fund apprentices into the profession. It was unclear yet whether Buckinghamshire and Surrey would receive any of this funding. 

c)    There was some funding that was coming from DHSC to assist with storage and disposal.  There were now storage facilities in both Surrey and Buckinghamshire.

d)    There were still a large number of complaints being received around possible illegal vapes and underage sales. Due to number of complaints the amount of underage test purchasing had increased.

e)    There was an awareness of there being problems of vaping within schools.  A few of the methods being used by schools to stop vaping were explained.  Schools had also received guidance from Government.

f)     It was hoped that there would be some help on the environmental impact of vapes with the vape recycling scheme.  When a vape was being purchased then retailers were expected to take in spent vapes.

2.    The Assistant Head of Trading Standards explained what was happening with online test purchasing being coordinated nationally.  The sites were not targeted through intelligence received.  The failure rate was around 10% and that was being followed up by the relevant local authorities.  The Chair asked what the local comparison was with the failure rate of shops.  The Assistant Head of Trading Standards explained that Surrey failure rate was 17% and Buckinghamshire 13% however there were differences in particular areas.

3.    Following a discussion around the ever increasing number of complaints around vapes the Team Manager explained how both areas were looking at the legal issues and alternative options including closure orders. 


Actions/ further information to be provided:




That the latest policy approaches be noted, and local approaches be considered.


Publication date: 15/05/2024

Date of decision: 10/04/2024

Decided at meeting: 10/04/2024 - Buckinghamshire Council and Surrey County Council Joint Trading Standards Service Committee

Accompanying Documents: