Elf Bar TPD Breach In UK & Shoddy Reporting!

Have seen a few stories today regarding Elf Bar disposable vapes exceeding TPD limits which have been for sale in the UK.

The TPD regulations require that vaping devices sold in the UK…

restrict e-cigarette tanks to a capacity of no more than 2ml
restrict e-liquids to a nicotine strength of no more than 20mg/ml

Shoddy Reporting

I personally am very confused as to what has happened as the articles written were obviously authored by people who don’t understand vaping.

The articles site “overfilling” and “Excessive nicotine”.

What appears to have happened is that some Elf Bar 600 models for sale in the UK have been overfilled.

However some news outlets are reporting that they have excessive nicotine?

I quote from The Metro article

“E-cigarettes bought at branches of Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons contained between 3ml and 3.2ml of liquid nicotine, when the legal limit is 2ml, or 2% strength.”

Again this is very confusing!

Is the nicotine level 3% or have the pods simply been filled to 3 or 3.2ml instead of 2ml?

I feel the people writing these articles haven’t got a clue what they are talking about!

How Was This Discovered?

The Daily Mail – a UK newspaper – conducted an investigation using Elf Bar 600 devices purchased from Sainsburys, Morrisons and Tesco supermarkets in different UK areas.

Image courtesy of Mail online

The paper does not say how they ascertained the fact these were breaching TPD laws but says they have alerted the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) to the findings.

Elf Bar apparently disputed the findings and suggested the items purchased may have been fakes.

But later on an Elf Bar Spokesperson said…

‘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.’

Elf Bar said they would alert retailers and review their production processes…

“Elf Bar insisted the ‘highly regrettable situation’ did not compromise the product’s safety.”

Plus of course the Daily Mail are quite alarmist about this situation as you would expect – saying in the sub headline…

“Expert said findings were ‘deeply disturbing’ and warned of risk to young people”

Again the confusing reporting is observed mixing up e-liquid capacity with nicotine strength. I quote a few passages from the article below…

“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 per cent.”

“But tests commissioned by the Mail on three flavours of the China-made Elf Bar 600s, bought at Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons branches in London, Derby and Sheffield, found they contained between 3ml and 3.2ml of nicotine levels. “

It is not 3ml of Nicotine it is 3ml of e-liquid. These devices have been overfilled – not exceeding nicotine levels. Bloody hell I wish they would report this accurately!

The Daily Mail also tested two other disposable vape brands and found they were fully compliant to TPD regulations.

Yes it is a dodgy situation buying something which was not as advertised, but disposable vapes in other countries can go up to 50mg of Nicotine and over 10ml capacity so it is not exactly life threatening.

And as if disposables are not getting enough negative publicity – this error will be making anti-vapers rub their hands with glee.

Sigh – this is not good news.


Tesco have temporarily removed this device from sale and a Morrisons spokesperson said…

‘We are taking this very seriously and confirm we’re working closely with Elf Bar and Trading Standards to investigate this further.’

Searching on their websites Tesco and Sainsbury’s are not offering any Elf Bar products but Morrisons still has them listed for sale.

However an article on the ITV website says all three supermarkets have removed these products from their shelves.

Also on the ITV article a response from Tesco is quoted…

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We have temporarily removed one ELFBAR vape line from sale as a precautionary measure, whilst the manufacturer urgently investigates these claims.”
While Tesco is investigating the issue with the vape supplier, the Watermelon line is no longer on shelves. Other vape products are still for sale.”

Sainsbury’s followed suit with a spokesperson saying:

“We are in close contact with our supplier and have temporarily removed the affected Elf Bar product whilst they investigate further.”

Asda have not specified their action but have told ITV News that it was working with the supplier to investigate the matter.


The Daily Mail article quotes Mark Oates – director of consumer advocacy group – We Vape…

“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).’”

The UKVIA (UK Vaping Industry Association) have released a statement

It appears a lot of people on Twitter agree with me regarding the odd reporting of this issue. Some of these are in response to a Tweet sharing the news…

Does ladbible spread bull💩 on purpose? Or are the reporters just thick 🧐

The nicotine level was NOT 50% over the limit.
The amount of liquid in the tank WAS over the limit. Massive difference.

— Ray Rigby (@merseyrayr) February 7, 2023

They were overfilled with more liquid than what is permitted. The nicotine strength was still within the law.

So they were not “dangerous”… they were deemed illegal because that line of vapes would be giving more than the 600 puffs stated.

— Ray Rigby (@merseyrayr) February 7, 2023

.@rhiannoningle doesn’t know the difference between the nicotine limit & the volume limit 😂

Both are unreasonably low & should have been revoked. The only effects they have are to create more waste & to inconvenience consumers.

And to provide click-bait fodder too, I suppose.

— Phil (@phil_w888) February 6, 2023

A very confusing article which conflates tank size with nicotine limits. Obviously the writer is clueless.

— Ellie Roebury (@CloudHe4d) February 7, 2023

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