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07th Feb 2023

Elf Bars removed from supermarkets after being 50% over legal nicotine limit

Katy Thornton

Elf Bars removed from supermarkets after being 50% over legal nicotine limit

Elf Bar has ‘wholeheartedly apologised’

Elf Bar vapes have been taken off shelves in supermarkets across the country after the company admitted the products contained illegal levels of nicotine.

One line of the disposable vape pens had been found to be at least 50 percent over the UK’s  legal nicotine limit.

Lab tests carried out as part of an investigation by the Mail found that the Chinese company’s ‘600’ line of vapes were at least 50 percent over the legal limit for nicotine e-liquid.

The current legal nicotine limit stands at 2ml, or two percent in strength, yet a batch of the models was found to contain between 3ml and 3.2ml of liquid nicotine.

Elf Bar has “wholeheartedly apologised” after carrying out its own tests on the products.

A spokesman said: “We found out that some batches of the Elf Bar 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.”

The likes of Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons had been stocking the above-limit products.

Vaping products containing nicotine are regulated under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations act.

Elf Bars removed from supermarkets after being 50% over legal nicotine limit

Whilst vaping products are undeniably far less harmful for people’s health than smoking, the long-term risks of vaping are not yet clear. The NHS does suggest e-cigarettes as an alternative to cigarette smoking, but there are still risk factors associated with it.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) last month revealed that the proportion of traditional smokers in the UK fell to the lowest on record last year, partly due to the increase in vaping.

The ONS said that vaping devices such as e-cigarettes have played a “major role” in reducing the prevalence of smoking across the UK.

Dan Marchant, Director of the UK’s largest vaping retailer, Vape Club and founding member of UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) said: “Disposable vapes – including Elf Bars – are designed for adults looking to quit smoking.

“According to Public Health England, vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking and the NHS is even taking steps to allow smokers to get e-cigarettes on prescription – because they’re so helpful for quitters.

“It’s actually a misconception that vaping is turning non-smokers and non-vapers into vapers. According to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), the proportion of never-smokers who are current e-cigarette users in 2021 was less than 1% (0.7%).”

But he said that more needs to be done in order to stamp out the rise in the number of children vaping.

Products such as Elf Bars have soared in popularity over the past year, and some believe the colourful packaging and wide array of flavours makes these products particularly attractive to teenagers.

In December, Waitrose announced they would no longer be selling disposable vapes, citing concerns over the products’ impact on “health of young people.”

Marchant called for places selling vapes to employ a Challenge 25 policy and for the fines for selling vape products to minors to be raised from a maximum of £2500 to a minimum of £10,000.

“They’re [vapes] absolutely designed for adult use – and the UK has very strict advertising rules,” he said.

“So products can’t be marketed to children and non-smokers, and must not ‘glamourise’ the products. Because of the nicotine content, vaping often gets lumped in with the tactics of the tobacco industry.

“This is completely false and takes away from some of the public health benefits these products create”.

This article originally appeared on JOE UK

Header image via Shutterstock

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