As news of counterfeit goods flooding the UK market breaks, here's how to spot illegal or fake Geek and Elf Bars:
While, for the most part, vaping is considered safer than smoking, according to experts they still have a 'reasonable' risk for potential lung damage and cancer.
This risk is increased when fake bars enter the market, without conforming to the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (TRPR) in the UK.
The TRPR "restrict e-cigarette tanks to a capacity of no more than 2ml [and] restrict the maximum volume of nicotine-containing e-liquid for sale in one refill container to 10ml."
They also "Restrict e-liquids to a nicotine strength of no more than 20mg/ml."
These restrictions also apply to certain colourings used in vapes. So, why are these restrictions important?
Well, the limit on the capacity and volume of vapes means that the Geek Bar Pro is actually illegal in the UK as it's filled with 4.5ml of e-liquid, over double the recommended dose in Great Britain.
The Geek Bar Pro was initially intended for US markets, which have looser restrictions on the amount of e-liquid allowed in a vape.
This makes it pretty easy to spot whether your Geek Bar is illegal, you just need to check how much e-liquid the product comes pre-filled with.
A number of fake Geek and Elf Bars have cropped up in newsagents up and down the country and pose a danger as they are unregulated, may feature leaky tanks, bad batteries, and un-approved e-liquid ingredients.
The first way to check for a fake Geek Bar is the manufacturer details on the back of the box. On a fake bar, the manufacturer's details are printed in bold and are less detailed than on real bars, as shown above by Vape Green.
While packaging-wise for Elf bars, you should see the Elf Bar logo on the top of the box, not the bottom: if the logo is on both ends the bar is fake.
Next is the holographic sticker: if you see the 'GG' Scratch and Check sticker, you've got a real Geek or Elf Bar, any other kind of sticker indicates that the product is fake.
Finally, you can look at the authenticity of a bar by checking the barcode - a real Geek Bar should have 'GEEKBAR' written before the code, not 'EXP'.
Meanwhile, on an authentic Elf Bar, you should see a simple EAN barcode printed onto the box itself, rather than as an added sticker.
As always, you should buy your smoking products from a trusted retailer and report any counterfeit items you come across.Featured Image Credit: @HeavenGiftsCom/TikTok