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UK Vape Blog

Fake vs Real Disposables - How to tell the difference

by Nichola Eccles 12 Sep 2023
Distinguishing Fake vs Real Disposable Vapes
Over the years, the number of UK vapers has skyrocketed. Data suggests 8.3% of adults in England, Wales and Scotland vape, up from just 1.7% a decade ago, which equats to about 800,000 people. But how do you know if you're vaping a real or fake disposable? The demand for vaping has risen immensely, which has led to counterfeit vaping products that can cause health risks. In this blog, we will be going into detail on how to tell the difference between real and fake disposables so you know you’re getting the real deal.
Vape packaging and branding
The first thing to look out for when buying a disposable vape is the packaging. Vape manufacturers create bright and eye-catching designs/colours and flavours to draw the attention of the customer, but how closely do you really look at the fine detail of your product? If you had a nut allergy, you would always check the ingredients of the product as well as the brand, so why aren’t we doing the same with vaping products?
Legitimate vape disposable brands such as Elfbar, Gold Bar and Crystal Bar invest in high-quality packaging and branding. They do this so the consumer will know it’s from a reliable company that follows all laws and regulations regarding their product. This also enables them to maintain the best reputation possible, which will gain customer trust and a great retention rate.
Authentic disposables also come with clear, easy-to-read labelling and all required information, such as safety warnings and age restrictions, which are located on the back of the box. They should also display nicotine content and flavour descriptions/ingredients. Each individual vape will have a QR code located somewhere on the outer packaging and will also come with two addresses, one by the manufacturer and another with a UK importer address. Each outer packaging should also have a batch number and expiry date.
Fake packaging usually has poor printing quality, misspelt words and conflicting labelling and information. Counterfeit packaging also won’t have the correct logo on the top of the box.
Example of Elf Bar's distinctive features
1. QR Code to official Elf Bar website
2. Importer name/address
3. Warning Symbols
4. Official Elf Bar logo on the lid of the box
5. Official Elf Bar Logo/font on face of box
6. Links to Elf Bar's social media platforms
7. Always white background on top 1/3 of each box
8. Exporter name/address
Quality of Materials
Inside a disposable vape contains a battery which gives you the estimated lifespan of your vape once opened. Authentic vape manufacturers use high-quality, high-grade materials, and to make sure their products are safe for consumption, comply to strict quality control standards.
Fake disposables might use low-grade materials that could possibly cause overheating and could also use a liquid that could give off harmful chemicals when used.
Performance and Flavour
Trustworthy branded disposables conduct a lot of research, trials and testing before any product is available for customer use, examining consistency in flavour, performance and lifespan of the device.
Crucially, testing is used to make sure the product is deemed safe, and since you’re inhaling this product, you want to make sure you’re buying something that isn’t harmful.
Fake vapes can potentially do the opposite and prove incapable of catching the same flavour or taste. They can lead to a lot of dry hits, meaning you inhale your vape and get a hot, cloudless, less flavourful, burnt taste. This can lead to inconsistent performance and reduced battery lifespan.
Vape battery safety
Battery safety is of the utmost importance. With disposable vapes, the battery is known as an internal battery, as it is built into the kit and cannot be removed. Authentic disposable vapes are designed with a battery mAh of 400mAh - 750mAh. This will offer you anywhere between 400 and 700 puffs depending on the battery, pod and brand (as well as your personal usage rate.) The battery power is basically how much charge it holds (the bigger the mAh, the longer the battery life). The battery mAh is usually located on the outer packaging.
Manufacturers' aim is to make disposables as safe and reliable as possible to reduce any risk of any safety hazards. Counterfeit disposables may not consider battery safety which can cause harm to the consumer or their property (such as clothing or ornaments if contact is made). Things that could possibly occur include overheating, spitting warm liquid, leaking, and puff activation not working correctly, which means the vape powers continuously without you activating the puffs, potentially leading to dangerous situations.
Regulatory Compliance
Any vaping products must follow company and national regulations, including labelling and manufacturing. These are in place for the health and safety of the customer and for product consistency.
Fake disposables usually ignore these regulations. The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR) laws state that you can only sell vaping products that hold 2ml of liquid, and it’s also essential to give information on the vaping product so consumers can make an informed decision.
Legally you cannot sell liquids in anything larger than a 10ml bottle that contains nicotine; it’s also forbidden to sell an e-liquid which contains over 20mg in strength in the UK.
Every vaping product must display clear warning signs; it is also a requirement for all vaping products and liquids to be notified and published by MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) before they can be sold.
Choose the safe vaping option at UK Vape Supply
Overall, choosing a real or fake disposable is a choice that only you can make. However, we feel obliged to make everyone aware of fake disposables and what to look out for when buying vapes. We take pride in our company and our customers/consumers and want to give you the best vaping experience possible. Buying from safe, reputable retailers and trusted brands comes with less risk, better performance and will keep you satisfied. We hope this has helped you know how to identify an authentic disposable; why not take a look at our full disposable vape range for safe, trusted devices from leading brands?
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