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Multiple disposable vape brands have been found to contain above the regulation maximum nicotine liquid, in testing commissioned by BAT.

Lab tests of bestselling devices including SKE Crystal, Smok Mbar, IVG, Found Mary, Klik Klak, Solo and Solo+ have discovered the disposables analysed contain nicotine juice volumes that far exceed the legally permitted 2ml.

In many cases, the devices tested were found to contain more than 50% more than the maximum amount allowed.

An SKE Crystal Blue Razz Lemonade device bought from One Stop in Hereford was found to have a total fill volume of 3.26ml and a Solo+ Pink Lemonade disposable bought at a Morrisons in Leeds a fill volume of 3.25ml.

BAT alerted wholesalers and retailers to its findings earlier this week. The tobacco giant made test purchases of a range of SKUs from each brand from Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Nisa Local, Booker and One Stop stores.

In a letter from BAT to retailers and wholesalers seen by The Grocer, the company’s UK MD Fredrik Svensson urged them to take “appropriate steps to ensure that you are not supplying non-compliant products”. He said he hoped they “will urgently be reviewing the supply of any products you stock, particularly those which our testing demonstrates do not comply with the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations”.

It is understood the letter has been sent to all retailers from which the purchases were made. At the time of writing, the devices are still available for purchase.

In his letter, Svensson warned that “responsible retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers must ensure the long-term sustainability of the vapour category is protected by following the law and only offering for sale products that are compliant”.

“You will of course be fully alive to the risks of corporate and personal liability arising from the sale of non-compliant products,” he added.

Test results shared by another industry source investigated 14 SKE Crystal disposable variants – including Watermelon Strawberry Bubblegum, Fresh Menthol Mojito and Bull Ice – and found all to contain more than 3ml of nicotine juice. 

However, in lab tests of all SKE Crystal SKUs by Adact Medical, commissioned by vape wholesaler Phoenix 2 Retail and shared with The Grocer, only one flavour variant – Sour Apple – was found to have a non-compliant tank capacity. The wholesaler also sent IVG devices for testing, which results showed contained a compliant amount of nicotine liquid.

Phoenix 2 Retail said it was now sending the Sour Apple SKU to three testing facilities to confirm the result.

All the brands found to be non-compliant in BAT’s testing have been approached for comment.

The findings come after devices from ElfBar – the fastest-growing grocery brand in any category last year – were found to contain 50% more than the regulation maximum amount of nicotine liquid last month.

The Chinese-owned brand claimed the over-sized tanks were “inadvertently fitted” to UK-bound product, and following crisis talks with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) announced a voluntary withdrawal of the product. The brand was stripped from shelves at Sainsbury’s, Asda, Tesco and Morrisons in the wake of the revelations.