Elf Bar vapes removed from shelves for being 50% over legal nicotine limit


Elf Bar vapes are being sold with nicotine at least 50% over the legal limit, an investigation has found.

The Chinese vaping giant admitted ‘inadvertently’ breaking the law and ‘wholeheartedly apologised’ following lab tests of its ‘600’ line of disposable vape pens.

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.

An Elf Bar spokesperson insisted the ‘highly regrettable situation’ did not affect the safety of its vapes.

‘We found out that some batches of the Elf Bar product have been overfilled in the UK,’ the spokesperson said.

‘It appears that e-liquid tank sizes, which are standard in other markets, have been inadvertently fitted to some of our UK products. We wholeheartedly apologise for the inconvenience this has caused.’

The 2% nicotine limit was brought in to create ‘an environment that protects children from starting to use these products’.

But this safety net, in place since 2016, has not stopped young people turning to vapes in their droves.

A recent survey by Action on Smoking and Health found that in England, vaping in people aged 11-18 had doubled from 4% in 2020 to 8.6% in 2022.

Elf Bar was launched in the middle of this vaping boom in 2021, and quickly dominated the market, with 2.5 million products sold in the UK every week. Each vape typically costs £5.99.

They are extremely popular with young people, with a study finding more than half of 11 to 17-year-olds who’ve tried vaping have used an Elf Bar.

The Daily Mail investigation has sparked warnings from experts about the risks to children, while Tesco has pulled some products, and Morrisons has launched its own probe.

Andrew Bush, professor of paediatrics at Imperial College London, told the Mail: ‘This is incredibly worrying. It is terrible people don’t know what they are taking. There needs to be urgent action taken against these vapes.’

Vaping is considered less harmful than smoking cigarettes, but they are not entirely free from risk.

Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical that can increase blood pressure, heart rate, flow of blood to the heart and a narrowing of the arteries.

The long-term effects are still unknown, and yet to be determined by studies. It’s generally agreed that if you don’t smoke, you shouldn’t take up vaping.

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