10 vaping elf bar

Source: ElfBar

Disposable vapes containing 50% more than the legal limit of liquid nicotine have been discovered being sold in major supermarkets.

Chinese vaping giant ElfBar – the fastest-growing grocery brand in any category last year – said e-liquid tanks of a size designed for other markets had been “inadvertently fitted” to some UK products.

Tesco, Morrisons, Asda and Sainsbury’s have all moved to investigate or remove offending products from shelves.

Sainsbury’s told The Grocer that it had “removed all Elf Bar products from our stores whilst our suppliers investigate this matter further”. Morrisons said it was taking that matter “very seriously and we can confirm that we’re working closely with ELF BAR and Trading Standards to investigate this further”. 

Three flavours of ElfBar 600 disposable vapes were found to have well over the legal limit for nicotine e-liquid in an investigation by The Daily Mail, which bought several types of disposable vapes at Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons stores in London, Derby and Sheffield, and sent them for testing.

The Daily Mail reported the offending devices contained between 3ml and 3.2ml of liquid nicotine.

The Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency restrict e-cigarette tanks to a capacity of no more than 2ml in the UK. The limits are far higher in the US, where it is understood the devices were designed for.

“We wholeheartedly apologise for the inconvenience this has caused,” a spokesman for ElfBar told The Daily Mail.

The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) said it was “imperative that all manufacturers comply with UK regulations on e-liquid capacity and nicotine concentration levels as they are different from other parts of the world”.

“Whilst they are not a member of the UKVIA,” a spokesman for the association said, “we have sought reassurance that they are on top of the matter and engaging appropriately with the relevant authorities and the marketplace. We understand they are taking immediate action and will be replacing all affected stock.

“The UKVIA does not condone any brand that is intentionally overfilling their devices.”

A UK distributor of ElfBars – Vape Supplier Ltd – is understood to have told retailers that “no instruction has been given by MHRA or Trading Standards to remove any ElfBar product from sale”.