With the recent boom in popularity, Disposable vape sales have skyrocketed in the UK. But alongside these sales, there’s also been an alarming rise in the sale of counterfeit vaping products, mostly Disposable vapes. These counterfeit products are being sold in a variety of stores like corner shops, convenience shops, mobile phone repair shops, and American sweet shops. The thing in common with these being they are not reputable vape shops and obviously trying to cash in on the opportunity.
In this article, I’m going to go through how to spot a counterfeit device, not only disposables but any vaping device and how you can check your authenticity of your vape gear if you were unsure.
How to spot a counterfeit disposable vape
As mentioned, counterfeit disposable vapes are flooding the UK market these days, and so many unsuspecting people could have and still are purchasing these devices from retailers with no regard to someone’s safety with them using these devices.
There’s been several different news reports released over the last few months of local Trading Standards agencies across the country carrying out raids and seizing tens of thousands of pounds worth of counterfeit products from shops such as American sweet shops, convenience shops and mobile phone repair shops. The items vary from handbags to games console controllers, but the one thing that has a heavy volume present within the seized goods is counterfeit disposable vapes.
It’s been confirmed that these vapes are counterfeit due to the authenticity barcode not working when put into the supposed manufacturers website, and also they’re against the law to be sold in the UK as they’re breaching TPD laws with the contents of what is in the disposable. I’ll list how to spot one below.
Contains more than 2ml of e-liquid – The most tell-tale sign that these could be counterfeit, is if the packaging flaunts the fact, they contain 5/6/7ml of e-liquid. If you didn’t know, TPD laws state that any vaping receptacle cannot have a capacity larger than what could hold 2ml of vape juice. So if you’re finding disposables with more than that in, they’ve not passed through the correct channels to be sold in the UK, because if they did, they would not be allowed to be sold.
Has higher than 20mg Nicotine strength – Same as above, TPD states no vape juice can be sold that has a nicotine content higher than 20mg, which is the highest strength Nic Salts are sold in within the UK. So, if you see Disposables advertising they have 50mg of nicotine in, these also would not have passed through the correct channels to be sold as they’re breaking the law if they’re sold in the UK.
Copycat brand names – A huge tell-tale sign is if the brands you’re looking at are blatant copies and play on words of reputable vape brand names. Most notably, Geekbar have had their name dragged through the mud thanks to a counterfeit disposable vape brand named “BarGeek” flogging 50mg disposable vapes. They even copied the design and the font they use to fool people into think what they were buying was legitimate and when people discovered they weren’t, Geekbar copped all the flack from disgruntled customers!
How to utilise Product Verification
If you’ve bought yourself any form of vaping device, you’ll be able to verify the authenticity of your product you’ve just bought by putting in a code on the manufacturers website under the “Product Verification” section.
You’ll normally be able to find a product verification code somewhere on the outer packaging of your vape as shown in this picture.
Or if it’s not there, some devices will have a separate verification card within the box, especially if it’s a bigger vape device you’ve bought as there’s more spaces in the box to put it.
You’ll want to scratch off, or peel off whatever is covering the code, follow the instructions on the manufacturers website by putting in the code and then you’ll be able to press a button and check if you’ve got legit vaping gear!
But be aware, these pirates who are making counterfeit devices are clever enough to make them, so they’re clever enough to making bogus websites up that will say you’ve got a genuine product when in reality you haven’t! I’d highly recommend Googling the manufacturer, and following those links to the manufacturer’s website, as this will take you to a legit site and not some bogus pirate site! I’ve put some links below to genuine manufacturers websites of popular brands for your convenience.
Sadly, we are living in an advanced digital age where people work smart and fast and can produce counterfeit items as quick as genuine ones come out. And if you’re not clued up, you can fall victim to purchasing one of these through no fault of your own.
Follow the above steps if you’re ever unsure, and also if you find that a retailer is being unlawful by selling counterfeit disposables, you can contact your local trading standards agency to make them aware, which they can then follow up.