Police: "Young people acquire e-cigs from criminal circles"

The use of e-cigarettes is increasing among minors, especially the so-called disposable models. However, it is not the use itself that is of primary concern to the police. It is the way young people obtain their e-cigs.
"It is similar to the shady way that older young people acquire drugs," says Kristian Bergström, municipal police officer in Sollentuna local police district.

This week the police in Sollentuna/Upplands Väsby issued a warning to parents in the region. The message was that more and more children in early adolescence are increasingly being found with e-cigarettes in schools and leisure centres.
"E-cigarettes are often sold through Snapchat and Instagram groups where young people can become intermediaries to larger criminal organisations. They risk getting very close to criminal circles," says Mr Perez. Kristian Bengtsson.

Different from cigarettes

Kristian Bergström is a municipal police officer who works closely with young people in the Sollentuna local police area. He has been concerned about this trend since an increasing number of reports of e-cigarettes have been received from schools over the past year.
"The matter in itself is not very alarming. It is not a directly life-threatening behaviour, even if it involves nicotine. Kids have been smoking for generations. What I react to is the way, and in what contexts, they acquire e-cigarettes. It's different from how you get cigarettes." says Kristian Bengtsson to Vejpkollen.

Shops are doing well

He does not believe that e-cigarettes are passed on to young people via classic langnining, where an older friend "buys out" from a shop. And he considers the vejpshoppers and shops operating in the Stockholm region to be well-behaved in this context.
"The municipality carries out regular checks, and my impression is that the shops manage this quite well. They are also careful about their licences to sell the products," he says. Kristian Bengtsson.

The black market is growing

As vejpkollen previously reported, the the black market in disposable models increased in several parts of the world, including Europe. large seizures of unauthorised disposable weapons at the border, suggesting a large-scale illegal trade. At the same time, repeated reports from individual shopkeepers in Sweden that many variants of unregistered products are in circulation.
"We often have customers who come in and ask for disposable models with 7000 flares or similar. These are models that are not approved in Sweden or the EU due to excessive wetting capacity and, of course, not something we can sell. But obviously there are shops or private individuals who do it anyway," says Mr Snyder. Filip Jansson, shop assistant in one of the Gothenburg's largest vejpshopper to Vejpkollen.

"Like when elderly people get drugs"

Kristian Bengtsson is on the same track. He doesn't want to say whether the sellers have links to wider organised crime. But he is certain that they are involved in shady environments.
"It often happens in the same way as older young people get drugs. They get in touch with someone online, meet on the corner, swish the money and get their goods," says Mr Perez. Kristian Bengtsson.

He believes that selling, and the contacts it creates, can open the door to worse things for young people in the future.
"It will be like a gateway. Today, the contact sells disposable vapes with nicotine. In a few years, it will be cannabis or something even heavier. The contact is established at an early stage and in this way drugs become more easily accessible to young people," says Mr Perez. Kristian Bengtsson.

Informing parents

According to Kristian, it is therefore important to communicate with parents about what e-cigarettes are and how young people can obtain them. In several cases, staff at schools and leisure centres have also taken care of models and notified the police.
"We generally do not visit schools to talk about vejping and e-cigarettes. But there have been times when we've spoken in classes where the school has noticed more widespread use," says Mr Perez. Kristian Bengtsson.

How do you talk about vejping with young people?

"We try not to point fingers and scold them for taking drugs or smoking. However, I want to inform them of the risks associated with sales and the danger of being in these environments. Today, they are buying e-cigarettes in this way. In a few years, it could be heavier stuff on the same street corner by the same guy. It's a potentially very dangerous environment."

How widespread is vejp among young people and does it differ in different areas?

"Use has increased overall and I don't see that it is worse in socio-economically more vulnerable areas than in others. This is clearly a fad that is very popular among all young people right now."

Also THC in circulation

Although the vast majority of single-use models found in young people contain only nicotine, there are also variants with thc - cannabis.
"The Narcotics Police have noted that there are more cannabis weapons in circulation than before. This is also new for us and we have no direct statistics on how much is involved. But we in the police need to adapt. We are accustomed to looking for rizzla paper and sniffing out seizures. With this type of device, it's completely different," he says. Kristian Bengtsson.

More articles on disposable weapons, youth and illegal trade:
Disposable vapes replace cigarettes among young people
Warning about the black market after SVT programme
Many outraged by SVT's report "It's distorted"
Illegal disposable e-cigarettes a new market for criminals
20-year-old suspected of selling e-cigs illegally
Illegal sales of flavoured e-juice on the rise
Disposable cigars - revolution or disaster?

1 Comment on “Polis: ”Unga skaffar e-cigg från kriminella kretsar”

  1. I have never heard a politician or other government official who is so clear about where the problems lie.
    We in NNA Sweden have warned politicians for a long time that the sale of smuggling is a good reason for the dealer on the corner to cultivate a younger customer group, but no one thought it could happen. Now it IS so. The engine in this is not just to be able to sell to children. The engine is that restrictions on the number of models and the level of taxation mean that the white market can neither compete on price nor product on the disposable market, even among those who are of age and then there is the volume and margins to operate a black market. If the regulatory framework and tax rates had been different, the conditions for that market would not have existed and the younger people would have had to rely on adult friends who can stand up and "buy out", as in the cigarette market.
    The solution does not lie in tougher legislation against the white market but, on the contrary, combined with better import controls.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *