Supermarkets Remove Illegal Disposables

Posted 15th February 2023 by Dave Cross
 Supermarkets Remove Illegal Disposables lead image
Supermarket chains have removed illegal Elf Bar disposable vaping products from shelves across the country. Tesco, Morrisons, and Sainsbury’s were found to be stocking illegal Elf Bar 600s in London, Sheffield and Derby. The action prompted further negative coverage of vaping in the national media and poured fuel on the fire of current anti-disposable ecig sentiment.

Seven months ago, Planet of the Vapes News reported how Elf Bar claimed it had “intercepted over a million fake vape products” destined for British supermarket shelves. In declaring its zero tolerance for such products, the company said it had worked with Chinese authorities to shut down twenty mainland factories.

It didn’t respond to questions about the environmental sustainability of its products, but it did launch the social media hashtag #SayNoToFakeELFBAR.

POTVNews reader Heathen commented: “#SayNoToElfbarFullStop. Why do ELFBAR put manga & anime characters on their disposable packaging? They not only market their products on TikTok but they market to kids via cartoon packaging. Disposables need to be outlawed before the government outlaw vaping.”

The manager at E-Liquids UK added: “Good to see them taking the threat of counterfeit products so seriously. While we have never had a batch of fake elf bars, we have had multiple customers come into our physical stores with them.”

Questions are now being asked if there were ever counterfeit disposables as Elf Bar provided products to British supermarket chains containing illegal levels of nicotine and possessing tank sizes greater than the 2ml maximum.

2.5million Elf Bars 600s are sold in the UK each week, volumes that have transformed the face of the vape market. Independent testing discovered a number of the products being supplied to Tesco, Morrisons, and Sainsbury’s had 3ml and 3.2ml tanks – something one major national newspaper managed to conflate with nicotine strength.

We Vape’s Mark Oates told a journalist: “The Mail's findings on Elf Bars are deeply worrying and it is clear there have been failings on multiple levels. Not only are the levels of e-liquid too high but checks to make sure these guidelines are adhered to either haven't occurred or are insufficient. Anyone supplying vapes in the UK market should be following the legislation.

“It is incredibly frustrating when major players in this sector appear to behave in a way that damages the reputation of something as beneficial as vaping and we expect the matter to be fully investigated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).”

It is reported that Elf Bar “wholeheartedly apologised”, stating that a mistake was made, and the products were fitted with tanks destined for the United States.

As part of our ongoing investigation into the legal compliance of ELFBAR 600 disposable electronic cigarettes with Trading Standards,” that company stated, “we have made the decision to remove all flavoured variants from sale. The products will only be returned to sale once stock that fully complies with UK legislation becomes available.”


This week sees Planet of the Vapes carrying a number of stories related to disposable vapes. This basic error on behalf of Elf Bar reflects poorly on the entire industry and gives anti-vaping activists like Imperial College’s Andrew Bush the opportunity to spread further hysteria and misinformation. The company needs to get its house in order, address environmental sustainability, comply with the WEEE directive on recycling electrical waste, and conform to MHRA standards.

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, salad destroyer and live culture convert.