A Maidenhead convenience shop selling vapes containing five times the legal amount of nicotine has been prosecuted in court.

Trading Standards seized 52 illegal e-cigarettes from K&B Convenience Store on King Street in July 2023, who then brought to the owner to court on Friday, June 14.

Four charges were brought against the owner of the store, Mr Bhaumikbai Patel, as well as his company KK & P Limited at Reading Magistrates' Court. The vapes he sold had 10ml of nicotine – when the maximum permitted volume for the product is 2ml.

While the first charge concerned the higher volume of nicotine than permitted by law, the second charge related to the health warning advertised on the product. Given the higher amount of nicotine, the advertisement warning of nicotine levels was found to be insufficient. Mr Patel, 37, entered guilty pleas on behalf of himself and his company.

Mr Patel was found to be directly responsible for the offences after he had been issued a warning from the Trading Standards. They had advised him to stop selling the products upon their first visitation, but he continued to do so.

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead led the prosecution against Mr Patel and his limited company. Upon pleading guilty, he was ordered to pay a total of £2870 in fines and costs. This was made up of £600 in fines, as well as a victim surcharge of £240 and costs for the Royal Borough, at £595.

An order was also made for the forfeiture and distribution of the vapes.

This comes as part of a nationwide clampdown on the sale and use of illegal vapes. More than 2 million illicit vapes have been seized by officials across the country between 2022 and 2023, according to the government.  

They are especially concerned with the number of children using vapes – having tripled in the last three years, according to the Department of Education.

Andrew Durrant, RBWM council executive director of place services, said: “We take sales of illegal vaping products incredibly seriously and our Trading Standards have done a great job delivering this successful prosecution.

“Clamping down on illegal vaping products is essential to protect users from products which do not comply with UK requirements.”

He added that by selling illegal products, stores gained an unfair trading advantage over other competitors which comply with the law.