Leading disposable vape brand Geek Bar has urged retailers and consumers to be extra vigilant amid reports that potentially deadly illegal and illicit vape products are being sold in the UK.
Unlike genuine products – which have undergone stringent emissions testing to ensure they are free from harmful chemicals and meet all of the UK’s regulatory and consumer safety standards – there are no such checks on illicit products, the brand said.
Recent independent testing of illegal vapes which had been purchased in the UK revealed that they contained dangerous levels of lead, nickel and chromium, in some cases up to ten times above safe limits.
Even more worryingly, ‘a small number’ of school children in Hampshire reportedly needed hospital treatment after using illegal vape products which contained additives which made them ill.
Allen Yang, chief executive of Geek Bar, said it was more important than ever that vapers knew the difference between compliant legal products and potentially deadly illegal ones.
“It is abundantly clear that illegal products, which have undergone no safety checks whatsoever and which could make consumers seriously ill, are currently on the market,” he said.
“Consumers must be really careful about that they buy and where they buy from. Being offered devices from ‘under the counter’, from random strangers or at a price which seems too good to be true should all set alarm bells ringing.”
Geek Bar said it has invested more than £120m in a new 95 per cent automated intelligent factory which uses cutting edge technology to ensure the highest product standards.
It has also recently launched its new Meloso vape range which features its bespoke VPU (vaping processing unit), and while there is no suggestion that any of the illicit products are being passed of as genuine Geek Bar vapes, Yang said the company would clamp down hard on anyone attempting to do so.
“All Geek Bar products go through the most rigorous quality control tests throughout the entire production process and we take great care to ensure that consumers can be confident that the products they buy from our trusted retail partners are genuine Geek Bar devices,” he said.
“Unfortunately, as vaping gets ever more popular it attracts unscrupulous characters who will happily sell illegal products which put anyone using them at the risk of serious harm.”
Its parent company Geekvape has already shut down a huge counterfeiting operation in the Philippines and has teams of lawyers ready to pounce when new counterfeit operations are detected around the globe.
Yang also called for much tougher enforcement of existing UK vape laws and backed proposals from the UK Vaping Industry Association which include fines of up to £10,000 for those selling illegal products or selling vapes to children, a licensing scheme which would help fund enhanced trading standards enforcement and new powers to allow regulators to screen out child-friendly imagery or packaging as part of the initial approvals process.