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Vape Club’s Disposable Concerns

Vape Club is reporting that some retailers have seen their sales of Elf Bar products soar by 883% but voices its concerns about the disposable vape black market

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Vape Club is says that some retailers have seen their sales of Elf Bar products soar by 883% but the company voices its concerns about the disposable vape black market. Vape Club has called for greater enforcement of the regulations amid reports of rising cases of counterfeit disposable vapes being sold illegally through TikTok.

Vape Club says that new data has shown UK sales of disposable vapes boomed over the last year, growing 883% between May 2021 and May 2022 at some retailers.

This growth has been driven by the increasing popularity of Elf Bar products, which have become one of the most popular vaping products. Elf Bar sales really started increasing from late last year, with sales doubling so far in Q2 2022 this year compared to Q1 2022.

The data was collated by Vape Club – the UK’s largest online vape retailer and advertiser with Planet of the Vapes – and identifies the expanding market for these products.

The figures represent fully age-verified sales, but the vaping industry has raised concerns that high demand for Elf Bars has created a black market in counterfeit, non-compliant devices, which are often sold to underage users. Legitimate retailers have demanded tougher enforcement of the regulations to combat this issue.

Vape Club says that social media platforms, predominantly used by teenagers, are often used to sell these counterfeit products illegally: “On TikTok alone, there are around 205 unofficial accounts selling Elf Bar devices. Some of these accounts are followed by half a million young people and parents are now being urged to educate their children on the dangers associated with illegal vaping products.”

Dan Marchant, founding member of the UK Vaping Industry Association and director at Vape Club, says: “It’s worrying that there are so many fake social media accounts posing as retailers. Not only will unscrupulous people sell vaping products to underage users this way, but the products themselves might not even be genuine. Worse still, these fake products could be dangerous.

“Reputable sellers have safeguards in place to ensure that children can’t buy vaping products. For instance, we conduct full digital age verification on every new customer before we allow an order to go out the door.

“Regulations in the UK are great on paper, but enforcement is sadly almost entirely lacking. So when illegal vaping products are widely available, or when vapes get into the hands of kids, the vaping industry gets blamed. Yet the responsible side of the industry are literally begging for the authorities to enforce the regulations and take serious action against the businesses flouting the rules.

“What’s needed is a licensing scheme, so proper age verification tests can be applied to every retailer. And there must be higher fines, applied to every breach, for the rogue sellers. The UKVIA (UK Vaping Industry Association) is calling for the fines to be raised to at least £10,000, which would be a real deterrent.

“And action is needed urgently, with disposable vape sales rising so quickly. A full quarter of our sales, for example, are now disposable vapes. Underage sales and Illicit vaping products, of any type, are where the government should be concentrating its crackdown.”


Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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