How to Spot Fake Vape Products and Disposables

Fake products are all around us, from counterfeit football shirts to designer handbags you see at market stalls and pointed in your face on holidays abroad. It’s reportedly worth billions to global economies and shows no sign of slowing down. With fake vape products, it’s exactly the same issue. There are tons of counterfeit products out there that may look, feel and vape exactly the same as the authentic vape kits. So what do you do? How can you tell what is real and fake before purchasing and when vaping?

Can You Get Fake Vapes?
We know for sure that they do exist. In fact, they’ve been plastered all over the UK news as one element of the industry that gets so much attention. For all of the positive publicity emitting from vaping as an alternative to smoking, fake vapes get plenty of headlines that highlight the dangers. From exploding vapes to tampered e-liquids, any vaper runs the risk when they buy from a website or stall that’s not regulated. The difficult aspect of the multi-billion pound vape industry is monitoring the products that are shipped to and from the UK.

Because millions enter the UK every day and we see them in shops, online stores and supermarkets, it’s a challenge to regulate them. In particular, disposable vapes from brands such as Elux, Geek Bar and Elf Bar have all made the news for various reasons (not all their doing). While brands like Elf Bar have made mistakes such as shipping products over the legal nicotine limit, at least they were upfront about the issue. In contrast, from unofficial vendors, you have to be very careful what you purchase.

Do Vape Regulatory Bodies Crack Down on Fake Vapes?
Regulated and monitored by Tobacco Product Directive (TPD) laws, e-cigarettes have never been more under the microscope, which is excellent for consumer rights and safety. Alongside TPD regulations, all companies that plan to release a vape product in the UK must pass stringent rules set out by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

In addition, once the product is passed by MHRA, they will assign an ECID code for each individual product which will then be listed on their website. So, whenever you go to buy a new product, make sure it is available so you know it complies with MHRA rules and is legally something you can purchase in the UK.

Are There Limitations to E-Liquids and Tanks You Can Buy?
To prevent the overuse of nicotine and create a cessation tool that works for new vapers, there are limitations on what you can purchase. For instance, rules dictate that the maximum size tank you can buy in the UK is 2ml, and fake vapes try to dodge around this rule with larger tanks, targeting those that wish to refill often with Sub-Ohm mods. Any e-liquid bottle containing nicotine should not exceed 10ml and a disposable vape should not contain more than 20mg/ml (2%) of nicotine per puff bar. To ensure this, it’s advised that you buy from a respected retailer that complies with these laws, and even better if they are a member of the UKVIA which stringently adheres to these rules.

What Other Signals Highlight the Authenticity of the Product?
There are a few other signs that it’s a fake product or legitimate. Simple things like spelling errors that try to resemble the brand name but are in fact fakes is clear. Most reputable brands also include a serial number or barcode to display it’s a genuine product, so that’s something to look out for. Poor packaging quality, cheap batteries that don’t last and no messaging explaining nicotine warnings or over the legal limit levels indicate they are also fake vapes.

Final Thoughts
First of all, you should avoid a fake vape at all costs to reduce any risks to your health. It’s important to know the type of product you’re buying and not being sold a dupe to ensure what you’re vaping is within the legal limit of nicotine and contains ingredients that will not harm yourself or others around you. Keep an eye out for the ECID code to guarantee safety and keep in mind the other indicators we have highlighted, which show that the product is genuine and not a fake.