How to Spot a Fake Vape: Experts Share Advice as UK Counterfeits Soar

According to figures from Trading Standards, more than two and a half million illegal vapes have been seized in the UK over the past three years, with experts warning that this is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’. These imitations can pose significant health risks for consumers, and with so many products now on the market, discerning a fake from the real thing can be challenging.

The experts at HAYPP have put together some essential tips on how to spot a fake vape and safeguard yourself against substandard and potentially hazardous products.

7 Key Tips for Spotting Counterfeit Vapes

  1. Beware of Unrealistic Prices

If the price of a vape seems too good to be true, it probably is. Counterfeiters often sell their products at significantly lower prices than authentic ones to lure unsuspecting buyers. It’s a good idea to compare prices across different retailers to get a sense of the typical market value.

  1. Purchase from Authorised Retailers

Whether you’re buying vape products online or in-store, stick to places you know and trust such as authorised retailers or the manufacturers own website. Avoid unauthorised street vendors, online marketplaces, or sellers offering deals that seem too good to be true.

  1. Check the Reviews

Before you purchase a new vape, do a bit of detective work. Look up reviews online, see what other people are saying, and check if there are any warnings about counterfeit products from that brand or seller.

  1. Inspect Product Quality

Pay attention to the overall build quality of the vape. Authentic vapes are usually made with high-quality materials and tend to have a solid, sturdy feel to them. If it feels flimsy or cheap, it might be a fake. Look for any signs of shoddy craftsmanship, loose parts, or cheap looking materials that could indicate a counterfeit product.

  1. Check the Packaging

It’s a good idea to examine the packaging closely for any inconsistencies, such as misspellings, poor quality printing, or differences in logos and branding compared to authentic products. Counterfeiters often try to copy the packaging of popular brands, but there are usually subtle differences upon closer inspection.

  1. Verify Serial Numbers and Authenticity Codes

Some manufacturers include serial numbers, QR codes, or authenticity verification systems on their products or packaging. Take advantage of these features to verify the authenticity of the vape directly through the manufacturer’s own website or app.

Despite these authentication measures being put in place, counterfeiters are becoming increasingly clued up on how to bypass them. For example, the fake products may have a code on the packaging that will take you to a fake webpage which isn’t run by the official manufacturer. If in doubt, search for the manufacturers site yourself on Google to verify the authenticity of the vape on the official page.

  1. Trust the Experts

If you’re still unsure, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Pop into your local vape shop and chat with the staff. They’re usually pretty clued up and can give you some guidance on spotting fakes.

The experts at HAYPP comment: 

“We can’t stress enough the importance of being able to spot counterfeit vapes. Counterfeits are dangerous for several reasons. Firstly, you have no idea what’s actually inside them. These knock-offs could contain harmful chemicals, inferior quality ingredients, or even contaminants that can wreak havoc on your health.

Secondly, counterfeit vapes often lack the necessary safety features and quality controls that genuine products undergo. This means you’re at a higher risk of experiencing malfunctions like leaks, or overheating.

Lastly, counterfeit vapes are a nightmare when it comes to consistency and reliability. You might think you’re getting a great deal, but you could end up with a product that performs poorly or fails entirely after just a few uses.

Combatting the influx of counterfeit vapes requires awareness from both consumers and retailers. By staying informed and taking precautions, we can help ensure the safety of vapers across the UK.”

Featured Photo by Romain B on Unsplash.

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