How to Spot a Fake Vape Device: A Guide for UK Vapers

As vaping continues to grow in popularity, so does the prevalence of fake vape devices and juices. Recent reports from the UK have shown that fake vapes are becoming increasingly common, with potentially harmful consequences for users. In this article, we will explore how to spot a fake vape device or juice and what to look out for to ensure your safety when vaping.

How common are fake vape devices?

According to a BBC report, 30,000 fake vapes were confiscated in the UK in December 2022 alone. With the rise of counterfeit products, it is crucial that vape users know how to identify fake vapes to avoid any harmful consequences. One recent case of popcorn lung caused by vaping diacetyl highlights the importance of being able to spot fake vapes in the market.

Ways you can spot fake vape devices

Check the store
Corner stores and small local shops are the biggest culprits of selling fake vapes, often to children. If you witness this happening, report the store to Trading Standards. To avoid buying a fake vape, it is recommended to purchase from a reputable vape store such as Vape Direct.

Serial numbers
Regulated vape devices in the UK come with a serial number on the label, which should be near the barcode and clearly marked. If you cannot find a serial number, it is likely a fake.

Official branding from vape device manufacturers comes with a contract. If the branding materials resemble something the shop owner printed off at home, with faded colours, slightly different logos, and poor quality printing, it is likely that the vape devices on offer are not reputable. It is recommended to use the serial number trick in conjunction with this test, as some branding can be quite similar.

How many puffs?
Disposable vape devices in the UK are limited to 600 puffs maximum. If your vape device claims it holds 5000 puffs, it is likely illegal and potentially dangerous. These products are often imported from abroad and may contain chemicals that are illegal in the UK.

How much juice does it hold?
The size of every vape tank in the UK is limited to a maximum of 2ml. If you can fit a full 10ml vape juice bottle into your single device and that device is not a mod kit, then something is wrong. These devices are illegal based on the size of the tank. Vape Direct offers replacement tanks if you suspect that your vape kit is illegal.

What’s the nicotine strength?
The UK authorities limit the total nicotine strength of every vape juice or disposable device at 20mg. If your disposable, refillable, or pod kit vape device contains over 20mg of nicotine, it is illegal and may cause damage to your system.

Finding legal, reputable vape products in the UK

To ensure you are buying from a reputable supplier, it is recommended to purchase from a trusted vape store like Vape Direct. The team at Vape Direct takes extra care to ensure that they do not pick up any fake vapes or juices by accident, so you can shop confidently from their selection of sale items or try their new vape products.


  • What is popcorn lung, and how does it relate to vaping?
    Popcorn lung is a lung disease that causes coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. It is caused by inhaling diacetyl, a chemical that was once used to give microwave popcorn a buttery flavor. Although diacetyl is banned for use in vape juice in the UK, fake vape juices may still contain this harmful chemical.

  • Are all vape devices safe?
    No, not all vape devices are safe. It is crucial to purchase from reputable vape stores and to avoid purchasing fake vape devices.

  • What should I do if I suspect that my vape device or juice is fake?
    If you suspect that your vape device or juice is fake, stop using it immediately and dispose of it properly. You can also report the issue to Trading Standards to help prevent others from purchasing potentially harmful products.

  • Can I import vape devices or juice from abroad?
    It is not recommended to import vape devices or juice from abroad, as these products may contain chemicals that are illegal in the UK and can be dangerous to use.

  • What should I do if I experience any negative side effects from using a vape device or juice?
    If you experience any negative side effects from using a vape device or juice, stop using it immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.

Subscribe to Vape
Receive the latest updates directly to your inbox.
Mint this entry as an NFT to add it to your collection.
This entry has been permanently stored onchain and signed by its creator.