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ELFBAR and Illegality

ELFBAR says it has taken action to counter the distribution of over a million counterfeit disposable devices, but faces condemnation for advertising to children on TikTok

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ELFBAR, a popular disposable vape brand in the UK, has claimed it has successfully intercepted over a million fake vape products bearing its product names, the majority of which it says would have likely ended up with UK retailers and in the hands of British consumers. It comes as media outlets are reporting the vaping giant has flouted UK advertising regulations on selling to children.

The company says it has been working closely with Chinese authorities to close down more than 20 counterfeit factories, which were found to have collectively produced over a million counterfeits.

The Chief Executive of ELFBAR, Victor Xiao said: “We are working actively with the authorities in China in cracking down counterfeits of our products and have made good progress. ELFBAR, as a socially responsible brand, will continue the efforts to defeat counterfeits and protect the health of our customers.”

ELFBAR says the counterfeiters have created fake websites which looked identical to the official ELFBAR website. This, it adds, has made product verification more challenging. Domain names created by the fraudsters include,,,,, to just name a few.

Xiao added: “The fraudsters are getting increasingly sophisticated and setting up fake websites that look just like the ELFBAR official site, which could mislead the consumers. Whilst we are locating spoof sites and taking them down, we caution our customers that the fraudsters may continue to set up new domains.

We have a zero tolerance to counterfeits as they impact on our reputation, and more importantly bring major health hazards to the vapers and those transitioning from conventional cigarettes to vapes due to their lack of quality control. The counterfeit products do not meet our quality standards, which comply with robust regulatory requirements as set out in the Tobacco Products Directive and The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations.”

The company is asking retailers to be alert to the issue and has started to provide distributors with visual information on how to spot fakes.

Xiao continued: “For retailers and consumers, we suggest that they verify products by scanning the QR code on the package and ensure it takes them to the official domain for verification. If you suspect the product you bought is fake, please drop us a note at [email protected], and we will take appropriate action.

We would like to thank British retailers and our vape customers who have taken the time and effort to alert us of the counterfeits – this has helped us track and trace their sources. By collaborating with the authorities, supply chain partners, distributors and retailers, we are confident that we together can protect our customers from the unscrupulous activities of the counterfeiters.”

The company has run a campaign #SayNoToFakeELFBAR across social media. It says this is designed to educate consumers on what they can do to check the legitimacy of their purchased products, how to avoid being a victim of the counterfeiters and what to do in the event if they suspect any wrongdoings.

But when it comes to social media, ELFBAR is creating news for the wrong reasons.

A recent investigation by The Observer found the “Chinese-owned brand Elf Bar is fuelling the boom in e-cigarettes among young people as social media influencers on TikTok promote its goods in an apparent breach of advertising rules.”

The promotions, which appear to break rules prohibiting e-cigarette advertising on social media, are seemingly part of a push by Elf Bar to reach new customers in Britain, including campaigns on buses and billboards and giveaways of its products. TikTok this weekend removed two accounts promoting Elf Bar products after being alerted to them by the Observer.”

Recently, Deborah Arnott, the Chief Executive of ASH said: “As the Khan review recommended to government, an additional £15 million needs to be invested in enforcement, and this should include vaping as well as tobacco products. The laws also need strengthening to prohibit child-friendly packaging and labelling of vaping products and to prevent promotion on social media. But online platforms like Tik Tok don’t need to wait, they must act now. The flood of glamourous promotion of vaping on social media is completely inappropriate and social media platforms should take responsibility and turn off the tap.”

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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