Thousands of illegal disposable vapes have been seized from Southampton shops.

This comes as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on Sunday night that his Government will ban disposable vapes to tackle a rise in children taking up the habit.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) Request to Southampton City Council revealed that between 2022 and this year, the council seized 3,170 vapes from nine Southampton stores.

If these were worth £5 each, this would add up to £15,850.

This is because they were over the legal maximum size and were falsely claiming to be nil nicotine.

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Out of the nine local shops from which vapes have been confiscated, two investigations remain ongoing, four were given warnings and three investigations resulted in no further action.

The illegal vapes seized have been destroyed.

READ MORE: Illegal vapes and fake tobacco seized in series of shop raids

This comes as Rishi Sunak announced he would ban disposable vapes to curb a rise in youth vaping.

According to the BBC, figures from the charity Action on Smoking and Health suggest 7.6 per cent of 11 to 17-year-olds now vape regularly or occasionally, up from 4.1 per cent in 2020.

While vapes are substantially less harmful than cigarettes, they are still too new to know the long-term health impact.

Reacting to the news was Luke Oughton, who works at Soton Fogger Shirley, an E-Cigarette shop on Shirley High Street.

He welcomed the move, despite the impact it might have on their sales.

He said: “We have had youngsters attempt to buy vapes, but we are very vigilant in checking identification.

“We think the ban is great in terms of protecting children’s health, but we do hope the Government allow us to sell the stock we have bought prior to the ban coming in to place.

“Children and smoking has been an issue – but the colours and eye catching flavours make them much more sought after.”

The full breakdown of the FOI showed that in 2022 to 2023, only one shop had illegal disposable vapes seized.

This totalled 546, all seized for being over the legal size.

Between 2023 and 2024, eight shops had 2624 disposable vapes seized for being over the legal size and claiming to be nil nicotine.

A council spokesperson said: “If we suspect a shop is selling illegal vapes, we will visit - subject to resources, advise, and seize any product.

“We then will consider what action is needed in line with our prosecution policy which may involve follow up action and ultimately prosecution.”