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How to Spot a Dodgy Vape



In the rapidly expanding and lucrative vape industry, its no wonder you get thousands of bad actors looking to score some quick money selling you counterfeit or illegal vaping products. Its seems as though every corner shop in the UK is infested with these illegal big puff disposables, which is a massive concern for public health since who knows what toxic chemicals can be inside them? This guide will help you identify these dodgy vapes and allow you to make informed decisions.

1. Check for TPD Compliance

The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) sets strict regulations for e-cigarettes and e-liquids sold in the UK. Here's what to look for:

  • Maximum E-liquid Capacity: TPD-compliant tanks must not exceed 2ml.
  • Nicotine Strength: E-liquids should not contain more than 20mg/ml of nicotine.
  • Packaging and Labelling: Look for clear labelling with a list of ingredients, nicotine content, and health warnings.
  • Child-Resistant Packaging: Legitimate products have childproof caps and tamper-evident seals.

2. Verify Authenticity

Counterfeit products can be hard to spot, but these tips can help:

  • Scratch and Check: Many reputable brands include a scratch-off code on their packaging that you can verify on the brand's website.
  • Holographic Stickers: Authentic products often feature holographic stickers that are difficult to replicate.
  • Detailed Branding: Look for high-quality printing, consistent branding, and accurate logos. Counterfeit products often have poor-quality printing and inconsistencies.

3. Examine the Build Quality

Poor build quality is a tell-tale sign of a dodgy vape:

  • Materials: Genuine vapes are made from high-quality materials. If the device feels flimsy or cheaply made, it's likely a fake.
  • Finish and Assembly: Look for smooth finishes and tight assembly. Misaligned parts, loose buttons, and rough edges are red flags.
  • Battery Quality: Authentic devices use reputable batteries. If the battery appears to be of low quality or doesn't match the brand's specifications, avoid it.

4. Purchase from Reputable Retailers

Where you buy your vape products matters:

  • Official Retailers: Purchase from authorized dealers like ourselves or the brand's official website.
  • Customer Reviews: Check online reviews and ratings. Reputable retailers will have positive feedback from customers.
  • Avoid Marketplaces: Be cautious when buying from third-party marketplaces such as Facebook marketplace where counterfeit products are common.

5. Price Check

If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is:

  • Price Comparison: Compare the price with that on the brand's official site. Significantly lower prices can indicate a fake product.
  • Bulk Deals: Be wary of bulk deals or heavily discounted prices on premium brands.

6. Regulatory Logos and Information

Look for regulatory logos and information on the packaging:

  • CE Mark: Indicates compliance with EU safety standards.
  • Recycling Information: Look out for the wheelie bin symbol, which indicates that the product is compliant with the WEEE Directive.

7. Taste and Performance

Finally, the vape's performance can be a giveaway:

  • Flavour Quality: Genuine e-liquids provide consistent and high-quality flavours. Off-tasting or inconsistent flavours can indicate a counterfeit.
  • Vapour Production: Authentic devices produce a steady and appropriate amount of vapour. Poor vapour production is a sign of a dodgy device.


Spotting a dodgy vape involves a combination of verifying TPD compliance, checking for authenticity, examining build quality, buying from reputable retailers, price checking, and evaluating taste and performance. By following these tips, you can ensure that the products you use are safe, genuine, and compliant with industry standards.

Stay informed, vape responsibly, and always prioritize your safety.

By sharing this guide, you can help others avoid the pitfalls of counterfeit and non-compliant vapes. Remember, a little vigilance goes a long way in ensuring a safe and enjoyable vaping experience.

Written by Jakub O