Elfbar breaks UK legal limit for nicotine in e-cigarettes

Although the Chinese firm ‘wholeheartedly apologised’, Tesco removed the line from its stores, and Morrisons also launched its own look into the product

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Popular vape supplier Elfbar has admitted to ‘inadvertently’ exceeding the UK legal limit for nicotine in some of its products.

An investigation by the Mail found that Elfbar’s ‘600’ line of e-cigarettes were at least 50% over the legal limit for nicotine e-liquid. Although the Chinese firm ‘wholeheartedly apologised’, Tesco removed the line from its stores, and Morrisons also launched its own look into the product.

The amount of nicotine liquid in a vape is legally limited in the UK to 2ml, of which the maximum nicotine strength should be 2%. However, tests by the Mail on three flavours, purchased at Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons branches in London, Derby and Sheffield, found they contained between 3ml and 3.2ml.

In its response, a spokesperson for Elfbar said: “We found out that some batches of the Elfbar product have been overfilled in the UK.

“It appears that e-liquid tank sizes, which are standard in other markets [such as the US], have been inadvertently fitted to some of our UK products. We wholeheartedly apologise for the inconvenience this has caused.”

They added it would alert retailers and review its procedure process, but stressed the news did not compromise the product’s safety.

A spokesperson for the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) told betterRetailing: “We are aware that ELFBAR has made an announcement that it has found that some of its products have entered the UK with 3ml capacity e-liquid tanks, which whilst standard in many parts of the world, are not so here.    

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

“We also await further information from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Trading Standards groups in relation to this matter.”

They added: “The UKVIA does not condone any brand that is intentionally overfilling their devices.

“It is 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.

“As there is no official guidance from the MHRA or Trading Standards yet, retailers may want to seek guidance from their suppliers.”

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