How to Identify and Avoid Fake Disposable Vape Pens
Disposable vape pens have taken the world by storm. Millions of vapers worldwide love the convenience and funky styling of these compact e cigs. They are easy to use, and it doesn’t matter if you lose one when you are out and about.
But the success of disposables has not been lost on counterfeiters. You won’t need to look very hard to find fake Elf Bars, Geek Bars, SKE Crystal Bars or any of the popular disposable brands.
What the problem with fake disposables?
Counterfeiters don’t concern themselves with quality or safety. Fake disposables won’t have been tested. They could be dangerous to use and hazardous to your health.
Many vapers who have accidentally invested in fake vape pens have reported feeling nauseous or suffering from migraines after using the devices. Others have experienced blurred vision and respiratory issues.
To make matters worse, fake e cigs deliver poor flavour and may not contain the amount of nicotine stated on the packaging. You could find that there is insufficient nicotine to relieve your cravings or far more nicotine that indicated.
Substandard devices could give new vapers a poor impression of vaping and see them return to smoking.
How do you spot fake disposables?
Unfortunately, the relative simplicity of disposables makes them easier and cheaper to copy than more complex devices. However, it is possible to spot counterfeit vapes.
Examine the packaging
Most fake e cigs will boast poor quality packaging and so can be quickly identified. For instance, Geek Bar boxes are laminated, and fake Geek Bar boxes won’t be. In addition, there are strict regulations for the packaging of vaping products and counterfeit products don’t tend to adhere to these. Packaging must feature a clearly printed ingredients list, best before date and nicotine warning. If any or all of these must-haves are absent, the disposable is a fake.
You should also check packaging for spelling mistakes, poor grammar and what appear to be poor translations. Legitimate brands will have ensured that their packaging is error-free.
Serial numbers and bar codes
All genuine products have serial numbers. If you are in any doubt about a vape pen, you can email the manufacturer to verify the product.
The packaging of genuine disposable vape pens will include at least one bar code. For instance, Elf Bar products have a single EAN barcode (International article number) which can be located on the side of the box. Geek Bar products feature several barcodes. On the latest packaging, the EAN barcode is printed on the bottom flap. Fake Geek Bar products may have EAN barcodes but will usually be missing the adjacent expiry dates and serial number barcodes.
The EAN barcodes printed on disposable vape boxes are EAN-8 barcodes. These are shorter than the standard EAN-13 barcodes and were evolved for use on small packages.
The leading brands work hard to keep ahead of the counterfeiters and so have incorporated various features into their packaging to enable users to verify the authenticity of their products. These features vary from one brand to another. Always check the brand’s website to establish precisely what forms of verification should appear on the packaging and how to make use of them.
The packaging of the disposables offered by many brands including Elf Bar and Geek Bar will have authentication stickers. These may include a QR code that you can scan to visit the verification page of the brand. Many will include a hologram and/or portions that you can scratch off to reveal a security code that you can enter on the brand’s verification page.
Counterfeiters may attempt to copy holographic stickers, but the actual holograms tend to be absent.
While the security features utilised by the various brands vary, it is quick and easy to establish what they are by searching online and therefore to identify fake products.
Look carefully at the device
If you have thrown away your device’s packaging before you begin to have doubts about the product, you can still check the disposable itself.
At first glance, a fake disposable could appear to be identical to a legitimate one. But if you look carefully, you should be able to spot the difference. Find an image of a legitimate product online and compare this to the vape pen you have purchased.
If your device appears to be poorly put together or features patchy lettering and faded colouring it could be a fake.
Be wary of strange noises
Genuine devices will operate smoothly and produce minimal noise. Any noise should sound like taking a deep breath with your lips open. Fake disposables, on the other hand, could sound much harsher and emit a ticking noise.
Think about the flavour
If you find that your disposable delivers unpleasant flavour, it could be a fake. The flavour you experience with counterfeit devices can be bitter and even disgusting. Just a couple of inhales may leave you feeling sick or dizzy. You should stop using the device immediately if you sense that the flavour isn’t right.
Don’t ignore bad smells
Fake devices often emit unpleasant aromas. If you smell burning plastic or smoke, stop vaping with the disposable. These unfortunate odours are often caused by the coil burning the plastic casing of the vape pen due to the poor construction of the device. The burning smell could also be the result of substandard e liquid.
How do you avoid fake disposable vape pens?
As you can see, it is relatively easy to spot a fake disposable after you have bought one. But how do you avoid wasting your money in the first place?
Purchase from legitimate retailers
Always purchase your vaping products directly from retailers who are authorised stockists of the brands concerned. Check that the legal address and contact information on the store’s site are genuine. Establish whether the retailer offers warranties on the products it sells. Look at reviews of the business.
Consider the price
Cheap prices can be strong indicators of fake products and so if you find disposables with prices that seem too good to be true, you should be wary of investing in the e cigs. There may be a legitimate reason for low prices, and it is always worth checking what this could be. But generally, very cheap prices will mean substandard goods that could be dangerous.
Could any vaping hardware be counterfeit?
Yes! You could discover counterfeit versions of any vaping hardware including tanks, mods and pod systems. Happily, it is possible to verify the authenticity of branded hardware by visiting the verification pages of the manufacturers.
While all vaping hardware is vulnerable to being faked, disposables are popular choices for counterfeiters thanks to their simplicity and popularity. Disposable vape pens are costly choices for vapers in the long run as you need to buy plenty of them. This also makes them prime targets for counterfeiters.
Fake vapes are common, but you can easily avoid them by sticking to your trusted vaping retailer.