Well, finally, shortfill "shake and vape" e-liquids have arrived at Crème de Vape. They provide a cost-effective way for vapers to obtain larger bottles of e-liquid and avoid having to deal with all those little bottles.
Why has it taken so long for us to get them in?
Good question - I'll need to provide a bit of background to answer it.
We noticed shortly after the end of the TPD transition period in May 2017, retailers started offering large bottles of flavoured e-liquid without nicotine, with empty space for TPD compliant flavourless nicotine liquid to be added by the consumer because the TPD/TRPR regulations do not currently apply to liquids without nicotine. This has been seen by many as a positive development, however, it was unfortunate that so many producers rushed in to take advantage of this loophole with all manner of completely untested liquids.
We've spoken to many companies over the years who simply don’t care to test their product and seem not to be bothered at all about what their customers are ingesting. I can’t count the number of times that our request for test results has elicited a response along the lines of “no-one else has asked” or “you're the only one with a problem”. These new untested shortfills took us back to how the e-liquid industry used to be pre-TPD when we faced extreme difficulty getting any kind of information about product content from manufacturers, and we had to run our own testing because we refuse to stock potentially unsafe liquids.
The industry had been aware of the problem since Dr Farsalinos' 2014 report where he revealed he'd tested and found potentially harmful ingredients in a lot of e-liquids on the market. He tested for Diacetyl (2,3-Butanedione) and Acetyl Propionyl (2,3-Pentanedione) which are buttery/creamy flavoured chemicals which have been linked to permanent lung damage when inhaled. See his study report here. Consumers and manufacturers were starting to sit up and take notice.
We put our cards on the table some years ago (when we were known as Cloud9Vaping) when we publicly blogged about our long-standing e-liquid testing policy (see our blog post here). We stated we'd removed a range of e-liquid from sale shortly after commencing stocking it, because our testing revealed that contrary to the manufacturer's own assertions, the liquids contained very high levels of these potentially harmful ingredients. Many customers asked us which range we had removed from sale, so eventually we revealed the full story which lead to a huge debacle much of which was publicly played out. The manufacturer then threatened us with legal action for revealing information that they already knew about, but had concealed from retailers and consumers.
Gradually, the industry started to listen and vaping trade and consumer associations also started to recommend avoidance of liquids with these ingredients. Manufacturers started to actually recognise the problem and many began to take steps to deal with it and reformulate their liquids.
When the TPD/TRPR arrived, it mandated emissions testing and full ingredient disclosure, along with toxicology reporting for every single ingredient present. It also completely disallowed certain ingredients including the two I’ve mentioned above, which was a great step forward even though many of the other measures in the TPD have been ill-advised. See the TPD UK ingredient guidance. We thought it would finally rid the market of all poor quality liquids including those made with inappropriate ingredients that shouldn’t be inhaled – however that has not been the case as many producers of zero nicotine liquids have made no effort to perform any testing or comply with the banned ingredient list.
The four ranges of shortfills we now stock have all been tested in exactly the same way as TPD compliant e-liquids, and none of them contain any of ingredients banned by the TPD, with the exception of Blackberry Crumble by Dinner Lady which contains a trace amount of naturally occurring (unavoidable) Diacetyl which is below the AFNOR recommended maximum level.
It’s possible that the unregulated shortfill market will be shut down at some point in the future when the regulators take notice and close this loophole. We expect the authorities to mandate that they be tested in exactly the same way as any other e-liquid and we would welcome this change. We only have to hope that they don’t put the 10ml limit on these liquids as well – if they do, it will be entirely because of those who tried to avoid testing and are happy to supply unknown substances for unsuspecting consumers to ingest.
October is here and the time is right to put down those cigarettes, we would like to help. We know most of you receiving this email will have already stopped so please share this with your friends, family, or co-workers who would like to take the opportunity to give an e-cig a try. We gave up smoking over 8 years ago, boy how the vaping kits have progressed since then. The new range of starter kits are very good performers and as you know we are very selective and only chose to stock the best we can get.
We understand there is still some confusion about the EU Tobacco Products directive (TPD) which came into law across the EU on May 2016. The UK implementation is known as the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR). It contains various restrictions and regulatory burden all of which will affect our customers to varying degrees. We’re currently in the transition period, and we can sell existing stock without restriction. This period ends on 19th May 2017, after which all products sold must meet the new requirements of the TRPR. Liquids without nicotine are exempt from these requirements.
|Maximum 10ml bottle size and maximum nicotine strength of 20mg/ml (2%).||Maximum 2ml capacity for tanks, which must have a leak-free filling mechanism.|
In addition to the size and strength restrictions, where a product contains nicotine, or could be used to contain nicotine the TRPR requires:
Some of the products you rely on may change to a compliant format, but many will not, and will become unavailable for sale to consumers in the UK and EU. The substantial costs involved in the testing and notification will lead to a further reduction in the variety of products on the market as most manufacturers will only be able to afford to test and submit their best sellers. Prices may increase slightly to cover the costs of the testing and notification, as well as the additional packaging.
We have been unable to import any non-compliant products since November 20th 2016, and so non-compliant products are beginning to sell out, and won’t be replenished. As you're browsing the website, you may notice a red box with the text "NOT PURCHASABLE IN THE EU AFTER MAY 19" This is your cue to buy now, whilst you still can, because you will not be able to purchase this product after this date. If you see this on a 30ml e-liquid, we recommend you browse the site to see if there is a 10ml compliant version available.
We advise you to ensure you have stocks of your favourite products on hand well before May and transition to compliant products as soon as they become available. We have been concentrating our efforts and working hard with our manufacturers to prepare compliant items over the last 6 months and although there are huge challenges to overcome, we are hopeful about the future of vaping post-2017.
For further information please see our earlier TPD blog post.
If you've ever contemplated mixing your own e-liquid or you already do, this post is for you.
We have a great beginner's guide to mixing on our forum and our DIY Mixing Supplies section is full of everything you could possibly need to make up something tasty.
Below you will find just a few of the items you need to mix your own e-liquids and the rest of the supplies such as empty bottles, PG, VG, pipettes and syringes are all available too.
NEAT72 Nicotine base liquid (discontinued due to the TPD)
Crème de Vape NEAT72TM Mixing Liquid is a VERY HIGH STRENGTH flavourless mixing liquid for vapers who prefer to create their own e-liquid flavours at home without compromising on quality or strength. It contains nicotine at 72mg per ml or 7.2% and it must be diluted to lower the nicotine strength before use. Bottles of pure PG and VG are available separately for this purpose.
Crème de Vape NEAT72TM Mixing Liquid is entirely sourced and manufactured within the UK using the highest quality pharmaceutical USP/EP grade nicotine and is available in your choice of pure PG or pure VG based formulations.
DKS nicotine mixing liquid (discontinued due to the TPD)
DKS Ultra Mixing liquid was created for the vaper who requires a simpler way to create their own flavoured e-liquids simply by adding flavour concentrates directly to the mixing liquid - thus eliminating the need for separate diluents and complex mixing calculations. It's also perfect as a ready-to-vape e-liquid for those who prefer to avoid all additional flavourings and ingredients.
Available in the following four variants:
We have an amazing range comprising of nearly 400 flavour concentrates to try from 5 different brands from around the world.
Don't forget diluents in plain PG or VG to finish your mix.
We also have a very helpful mixing calculator used by quite a few mixologists around the world. Makes mixing your own a breeze.
As always, be sure to check out our Just Arrived section for all new and back in stock items.
Public Health England (PHE) have released some very welcome guidance about vaping policy in public and in the workplace.
Their advice is measured and sensible throughout and they repeat that vaping carries a fraction of the risk of cigarettes and has the potential to help drive down smoking rates and improve public health but that policy makers must make clear the distinction between vaping and smoking. PHE is are strong in its assertion that the estimated 2.8 million vapers in the UK need to be encouraged to stay smoke-free and that future policies about vaping in public should be focused on fostering an environment in which e-cigarettes can provide a route out of smoking for England's eight million smokers.
There are many positive points within the guidance including a welcome acknowledgement that smokers can achieve their desired nicotine level much quicker than vapers, and this difference should be taken into account particularly in workplaces.
We thought this statement was most notable and urge you to share this with your employer if you are currently being forced to vape alongside smokers in a smoking room or designated smoking area in your workplace:
"it is never acceptable to require vapers to share the same outdoor space with smokers. Where a designated outdoor smoking area has been provided in a public place or workplace, vapers should be allowed to vape elsewhere"
Links to all the documents can be found below.
In the House of Lords Lord Callanan has put down a motion which if passed would stop implementation of the TPD in the UK. This is a critical development.
Lord Callanan is a hugely experienced senior politician. In the European Parliament he both advised how to campaign against medicalisation and led the successful campaign to block regulation that would have wiped out e-cigarettes. Nobody has been more effective at defending vaping than him.
Unless Lord Callanan is forced by pressure from Downing Street to withdraw his motion there will be a debate and a vote. Under parliamentary rules if the Lords agree to this motion the statutory instrument implementing the TPD in the UK will fall. Such procedures are called “fatal motions” because the regulations get killed outright and do not go back to the Commons.
(For geeks: the Lords have until 10 June to vote against this delegated legislation. That will be the end of the 40 days of “praying time” during which a successful motion can block the statutory instrument. This is the case even though the law has previously gone into effect as the TPD will on 20 May.)
The Lords are strongly against the TPD rules on vaping as was shown in last week’s debate in the House of Lords.
Government and Opposition
They know there are severe problems with the TPD’s rules on vaping. Government officials have acknowledged that they could increase smoking and the health minister told the Lords that he hoped enforcement would be more ‘Italian’ than traditional British.
The shadow minister said that he could not understand why e-cigarettes were included in the TPD and described opposition to vaping as “bonkers”. Two years ago his boss, Jeremy Corbyn, signed a parliamentary motion against the TPD rules on vaping.
As politicians see increasing vaper pressure they are already trying to be creative in finding a solution. Technically the EU could start “infraction proceedings” against the UK for not fully implementing Article 20, but this would prove bad timing. This is not the time encourage anti-EU sentiment!
Why we will succeed
There are more of us.
In 2013, despite huge pressure from the EU commission, vaper power helped swing the day. At that time there were 1.3 million vapers in the UK. Now there are 2.8 million of us.
Westminster and Brussels have reasons to be helpful. With top doctors such as the Royal College of Physicians coming out strongly in support of e-cigarettes, politicians are finally seeing the evidence that some of the rules are no longer fit for purpose.
As we saw last week, a majority of vapers want to leave the EU. Politicians (at least those who are in favour of the UK remaining in the EU) will not want to see vapers decide their referendum votes on this single issue.
What you can do
If ever there was a day for vaper power this is it! Last time round, it was the letters and social media support that won so many MEPs to our cause.
So let us respectfully urge our leaders to use the opportunity provided by Lord Callanan’s motion to rethink the specific problems we have with TPD.
Tweet: send your support for the #LordsVapeVote to @Number10gov @jeremycorbyn @MartinCallanan. (Update: #LordsVapeVote is now trending on twitter!)
Petition: Here is one ready to go, and in just a few hours it has already attracted 1000’s of signatures. Add yours now: Petition to Parliament
When vapers work together they are an unstoppable force. If we do not take today’s opportunity presented by Lord Callanan’s initiative then we could have to wait until around 2026 for the next Tobacco Products Directive to be implemented for even a chance of improvement.
So wait ten years – or tweet today like you
The TPD is due to go live this Friday 20th May and due to the new e-cigarette advertising restrictions we may be unable to send email newsletters. In future, we advise you to keep a close eye on our Coming Soon and Just Arrived pages regularly to see what's new.
Last week we informed you about the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) report on electronic cigarette research, this week we are urging you to please write to your local MP asking them to support an early day motion calling for debate before the UK Parliment about the upcoming TPD implementation on 20th of May this year.
Early day motion 1441
E-CIGARETTES AND THE TOBACCO PRODUCTS DIRECTIVE
Date tabled: 04.05.2016
Primary sponsor: Anne Main
That this House agrees with the Royal College of Physicians that it is crucial that e-cigarettes are priced as advantageously as possible in relation to tobacco.
Believes that the EU Tobacco Products Directive would significantly inhibit the development and use of harm-reduction products by smokers and cost lives.
Further agrees with Public Health England that e-cigarettes are around 95 per cent less harmful than smoking, and that nearly half the population does not realise that e-cigarettes are much less harmful than smoking.
Further believes that restricting advertising will have the perverse effect of reducing the rate at which cigarette use is declining.
Notes that the total cost of smoking to society, including healthcare, social care, lost productivity, litter and fires, was conservatively estimated by Action on Smoking and Health to be around £14 billion per year.
And calls on the Government to exclude e-cigarettes and other harm-reduction products from the Tobacco Products Directive.
You can write to your local MP using this website: https://www.writetothem.com/ Please be polite and explain why you feel the TPD will impact your choices for vapour products, and how e-cigs have changed your life. You need to be sure to urge your MP to support the "Early Day Motion 1441"
If you have not read the Royal College of Physicians' report and shared it with your friends and family members, please do so. The report highlights what we as vapers have known all along, here are just a few of the key points of the full report.
It is excellent news that this comprehensive report fully recognises the importance of e-cigs as harm-reduction, however it may have come too late to prevent the damage that will be caused by the Tobacco Products directive coming into force next month, which will significantly inhibit the development and availability of these products. Be sure you have also read our blog post about the TPD (Tobacco Products Directive).
Breaking News Flash!
We would urge everyone to read the Royal College of Physicians' report and share it with your friends and family members. The report highlights what we as vapers have known all along, here are just a few of the key points of the full report.
It is excellent news that this comprehensive report fully recognises the importance of e-cigs as harm-reduction, however it may have come too late to prevent the damage that will be caused by the Tobacco Products directive coming into force next month, which will significantly inhibit the development and availability of these products.
Be sure you have also read our blog post about the TPD (Tobacco Products Directive).
Final days of the clearance offer
Only a few days left for the coupon code "CLEAR20" to receive an FURTHER 20% discount on all items in the SALE & CLEARANCE section until 30 April. We have several excellent offers in this section already and the additional 20% off turns them into exceptional bargains. Below are a few of the items included in this special offer.
Coupon code is valid from 15th of April until midnight the 30th of April. Sorry but the discount code can not be applied retrospectively.
What a bargain! Pick up a spare or get one for a friend or family member who's on the fence about transitioning to vaping.
Luxe Mods are all on sale at crazy prices for these British made mech mods, pick up a deal on them while supplies last.
The Goblin Mini RTA is a must for that stealth device, and this price is simply amazing.
The Suprem-e line of e-liquids contains some of the best tasting tobacco and special flavours coming out of Italy. These 20ml bottles are to be replaced with TPD compliant 10ml bottles in the near future. Pick up a bargain or stock up on your favourites while supplies last.
As always, be sure to check out the Just Arrived section for all new and back in stock items and Like or Follow us on social media for new product releases and special offers.
20% off all sale and clearance items until 30th April
Use the coupon code "CLEAR20" to receive a 20% discount on all items in the SALE & CLEARANCE section of the site until 30 April. We have several excellent offers in this section already and the additional 20% off turns them into exceptional bargains.
Coupon code is valid from 15th of April until midnight the 30th of April. Sorry but the discount code can not be applied retrospectively.
Have a look at just a few of the discounts you could take advantage of below:
What a bargain on this P3 device, also available in soft touch red at this special price.
The extremely popular UWELL Crown Subtank still sets the bar very high. A Crème de Vape staff favourite.
Unbeatable price on a very robust and reliable variable temperature device. The silicone skins for this device are also on special offer.
The very popular Kanger SubTank Mini, a great performer and includes an RBA head so you can build your own coils.
As always, be sure to check out the Just Arrived section for all new and back in stock items and Like or Follow us on social media for new product releases and special offers.
You may have heard various rumours about upcoming regulations that will affect the availability of many of the vaping products you currently enjoy.
We’ve been hesitant to communicate much of this information directly to our customers thus far, because the situation has not been clear enough to be able to properly inform you about exactly what will happen. Information directly from UK regulators has slowly started to come through but there’s still grey areas and ambiguity in the information released so far, so it’s still quite difficult for companies to plan properly or advise their customers on what the future holds.
Having said that, we know a large proportion of our customers still don’t know anything about these looming changes and we felt it was time to give you a run-down of what we know so far as well as comment on what we don’t yet know. Apologies that this is quite a long post, but it’s a complex topic, and requires as much explanation as we can provide to ensure you are as well-informed as you possibly can be.
On May 20th 2016 The EU Directive 2014/40/EU1 also known as The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) comes into force. This Directive changes how tobacco and related products are manufactured, marketed and sold within the EU and contains some very restrictive measures relating to vaping products2.
Many feel (us included) that the restrictions relating to electronic cigarettes didn’t belong within a directive relating to tobacco products at all, and that regulatory provisions for these innovative, and life-changing products belong in separate, more carefully considered legislation, which could have ensured vapers continued to have access to the products they need and the right to choose a much safer alternative to smoking. However, the directive as it is was pushed through to further regulate cigarettes, tobacco products, and vaping products, all in one go.
As a result of this legislation, many of the products we know and love will disappear and the products currently available on the market will become very limited. The rate of innovation will also slow due to the financial burdens and delay involved in bringing new products to market, compounded by the 6 month delay that’s been imposed for newly notified products. The regulations do however allow a sell-through period3 for the sale of old stock until May 2017.
Unfortunately, there’s still a LOT up in the air due to the regulators’ failure to unambiguously define what’s included and what isn’t as well as the fact they have repeatedly contradicted themselves on various documents we’ve seen. This uncertainty means that much misinformation is out there, and manufacturers and retailers are not yet able to state exactly what the position will be, even though the restrictions will take effect in just a few months’ time.
We’ve chosen to focus here on those elements of the legislation that will be most restrictive for existing vapers, however there are various other provisions that will dramatically affect vaping. One that is of great concern to those of us who are keen to spread the message of vaping to as many smokers as possible is the ban on all forms of advertising and promotional activity, which may include online discussion forums and specialist vaping broadcast channels as well as traditional print and TV/radio media. Please rest assured that we’re doing our absolute best to navigate our way through the legislation, and working with our manufacturers to ensure they are also up to speed, and capable of producing compliant products. However, these changes ARE coming, and all current and future vapers will be radically affected.
Read on for detailed information on some of the restrictions the TPD will impose. We will continue to update you as we obtain more clarity.
This is clearly going to be a major problem for all sorts of reasons, not least because it makes it a much more expensive and inconvenient way to purchase and store e-liquid since it’s customary for many vapers to use 5 or 10ml or even more, per day. It’s completely at odds with regulators’ desire to reduce waste and promote a green agenda in every other area of our lives.
Some commentators have indicated they suspect this size limit is so the products can be very easily taxed per bottle at a later date although the regulators state that this limit was set with user safety in mind, to reduce the possibility of serious effect should someone accidentally or purposefully drink a bottle of e-liquid. We find it strange that the same type of restriction has not been applied to other readily available products that could be equally or much more dangerous than e-liquid if ingested orally. No-one’s ever seen fit to limit purchases of bleach to a thimbleful or limit the maximum bottle size for alcoholic spirits to the equivalent of a couple of units worth. It’s even more nonsensical when you consider that this very same TPD legislation has done the exact opposite of this restriction for cigarettes, in banning their sale in packs of fewer than 20 cigarettes to make them less appealing and less affordable to children.
This maximum bottle size issue is further compounded by the fact that buy-one-get-one-free and some other types of price promotion offers will be banned although it’s not clear whether the restrictions on price promotions will be imposed immediately or at the end of the sell-through period3.
You will no longer be able to legally purchase nicotine containing liquid in bottles larger than 10ml in any EU member state once the sell-through period3 is over.
Research studies4 have found that vaping is actually less effective at delivering nicotine than smoking, and vapers ingest less nicotine from vaping than smoking. Many indicators (and our own experience) tell us that a higher strength liquid is often needed by some users in their first attempts to make a complete switch away from smoking. We believe most of our customers who currently vape 24mg/ml will be able to reduce to 18mg/ml or 20mg/ml, but there does remain a core group of vapers who require strengths outside the typical range to keep them from going back to smoking and those vapers will need to reduce the strength they use and consider hardware changes that could make a lower strength liquid more satisfying. This restriction is again related to regulators’ misplaced concerns about accidental poisonings based on out-dated information about the lethal dose of nicotine due to dubious self-experiments in the nineteenth century5. There will be no such restriction placed on the nicotine level in products that are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies and approved under medicines legislation as a licensed medicinal product for smoking cessation, however, these will almost all be cigalike type devices with single-use/disposable high strength cartridges.
You will longer be able to purchase non-pharmaceutical e-liquid higher than 20mg/ml nicotine (whether it’s pre-mixed, ready-to-vape or high strength liquid for DIY mixing) legally in any EU member state once the sell-through period3 is over.
According to the EU directive, most of the current advanced tanks will be banned outright. However, according to the UK draft legislation, it appears that this restriction may only apply to tanks that contain e-liquid at time of sale. It’s also not entirely clear as to whether this includes rebuildables or replacement heads and coils but the most recent communications from the UK government appear to indicate it includes anything which could contain nicotine in the form of e-liquid which is intended to be vaporised and inhaled. Most of the tanks we currently stock and similar ones in the near future may not be allowed under the new rules, and those few that do meet the restrictions may not be saleable unless they have been tested and a full dossier provided to the MHRA 6 months in advance of them being placed on sale3 (or by November 2016 if they are already on sale).
If you currently prefer tanks larger than 2ml, you may not be able to purchase them legally in any EU member state once the sell-through period3 is over. We await some further clarification of exactly how this restriction will be applied in the real world.
The regulators have not yet fully defined what they mean here, and there’s been some discussion about whether or not the regulators might require some sort of e-liquid bottle docking system – which would obviously mean consumers will be “locked-in” to different types of proprietary refilling mechanisms and thus limited to which brand of liquids could be used with certain brands of tanks. It is hoped that the definition will be more related to the size and length of the tip on bottles, and the filling hole size on tanks.
We await further information on how/what this requirement will mean in the real world.
Every user has a different vaping style and so everyone’s “puff duration” and pressure differs. Added to that, modern devices allow you to tailor the experience to your preferences with most advanced devices currently available featuring adjustability in wattage or voltage, and airflow. Defining “normal use” is therefore very challenging and indeed no interpretation or specification has been given. It looks like each manufacturer will be required to formulate their own dosage testing protocol and demonstrate that the amount of nicotine delivered is consistent and repeatable using this standard protocol.
We await further information on what this requirement will mean in the real world.
UK Manufacturers and importers of electronic cigarettes and refill containers will be required to perform very comprehensive, costly testing and submit a notification to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) 6 months prior to placing a new or substantially altered product on the market. For the UK, the notification will need to be presented in a specific way which meets the MHRA’s adopted format, and shall include:
There will obviously be huge financial implications involved in the testing and notification process, which has been based on a pharmaceutical model despite the fact that these products are not pharmaceutical or healthcare products, and indeed retailers will still not be allowed to present them as such, or make any claims as to their effectiveness as a quit-smoking method. It would have been sensible for regulations to require testing and identification of known potentially harmful inhalant risks, but the regulators have seen fit to demand the entire recipe for all liquids, thus forcing manufacturers to disclose proprietary formulations which are essentially, trade secrets.
Food flavouring manufacturers aren’t currently required to divulge their entire recipes and can retain some commercial confidentiality to prevent formulations being stolen or copied by competitors. This makes it extremely difficult to identify compounds present because chemical analysis is performed by looking for specific ingredients. Without having knowledge of what one’s looking for, analysis is almost impossible. Even where the compounds are identified by the flavouring manufacturer, e-liquid manufacturers will still need to run chemical analysis on every single iteration of their product (that’s every strength and flavour separately) to identify and quantify all the compounds present, both in the liquid, and in the vapour. Cost estimates vary wildly, depending on who you speak to, but a very conservative estimate is a minimum of £5000 per iteration (e.g. a banana flavour e-liquid in 4 strengths = a minimum of £20,000 just for the testing and documentation for that one flavour liquid). There are also the initial notification and annual renewal fees to factor in as well as the huge administrative burden.
The resulting impact of these provisions is not yet known because e-liquid is currently available in the UK in thousands of flavour and strength combinations, all of which will be unsaleable unless they have been tested and notified. Very few manufacturers outside the EU will comply with these reporting requirements, so it will be up to the retailer to undertake the testing and notification and bear the cost. This is unlikely to happen in many cases, so many non-EU products will simply disappear from the shelves. EU manufacturers and retailers who can’t afford to test and prepare notification for hundreds of different products will likely close their business, or radically cull their ranges.
Once manufacturers do take note and make provisions to adhere to the new testing and notification requirements, they will not be able to place products on sale until 6 months after they make their product notification submission to the MHRA.
Expect to see a massive reduction in the e-liquid choices available on the EU market once the sell-through period3 is over and a delay on new products coming to market. Also expect e-liquid prices to increase.
The TPD requires that e-cigarettes and e-liquid bottles contain the following information on the outside of their packaging:
The box must also contain an enclosure leaflet with:
A fold-out information leaflet attached to the bottle may be acceptable in place of a box with leaflet enclosure.
Technically, there isn’t a definition for what a “dose” is as it relates to vaping because we ALL vape completely differently. Every vaper decides for themselves what strength they use, and how much they vape so this requirement could be slightly challenging. There are concerns over possible liability issues where the product packaging contains contraindications, and warnings for specific groups (whilst omitting other specific groups) and indeed this requirement is going to be a challenging one for all non-pharmaceutical companies due to the limitations of general product liability insurance. Most current retailers don’t even have sufficient product liability insurance now due to its cost, and it’s highly unlikely any small-medium retailer could afford sufficient insurance for products where health warning information is contained on their products.
Along with the reduction in choice, you can also expect to see a much higher cost for e-liquid, that has been tested, notified, and packaged in accordance with the regulations. Other repercussions such as product liability insurance issues are unclear.
Write to your MP. It's too late to change the TPD, but the implementation and enforcement strategy is not yet set in stone.
On 1st October 2015, it became a criminal offence to supply nicotine containing e-cigs to persons under the age of 18.
We've always taken a firm position in this regard, however, as a result of this new legislation, we have implemented further steps to ensure sales to minors are prevented. These steps include requiring you to register for a customer account to shop on the site. We appreciate this may not feel as convenient as before, but we've decided it is the optimal solution to this new legislation.
Please click here for more information.
Stoptober is here and we would love to help folks with their success this year. We understand most of you reading this are already vapers so please let your still-smoking family members, friends, and co-workers know about our specials so they can give Stoptober 2015 a chance with quality products and service from Crème de Vape.
Take advantage of savings up to 25% on all products in the Stoptober category on the website, now until the end of October. We have Aspire Premium Kits, Kanger EVOD and eSmart kits, plus a selection of our e-liquid on offer. No coupon codes, the savings have already been calculated, simply visit Stoptober Savings
We're thrilled to inform you that Cloud9Vaping will now be known as Crème de Vape. The great products, super-swift service and amazing customer support you've come to know and love, will remain - all wrapped up in a newer, classier package.
No need to change your login details or passwords, all your details have been brought across to the new site. The old Cloud9 web address will continue to work, but we'd recommend updating your bookmarks to www.cremedevape.com.
From our inception in 2009, we've always gone to great lengths to carefully source and test the latest devices on the market to ensure every product on our site meets our quality standards. When subtanks first arrived to market, there were few devices capable of safely handling these very low resistance coils, and many tanks available were below par in terms of build quality or performance. Over the past few months, battery device technology has improved, and our thorough testing process has identified several tanks we've been very proud to add to our range recently.
The tanks we have selected are outstanding in all areas and offer brilliant performance whether you choose to use ready-made Kanthal or stainless steel heads or Ni200 heads for temperature controlled battery devices. These tanks all offer the ability to use a rebuildable (RBA) deck so you can customise your experience using either kanthal or Ni200 wire. The flexible nature of both replacement head options and the possibility of building your own with an RBA head really sets these tanks apart from the rest.
The Crown Subtank atomiser is a high quality stainless steel tank featuring adjustable air flow, large 4ml capacity, and several replacement head options including a rebuildable (RBA) head (available separately.) The Crown can be completely disassembled for cleaning. Uwell is a new manufacturer in the industry but they have come out strong with this initial offering which has quickly become the favourite subtank of ours and many reviewers.
The Goliath II is a rebuildable tank atomiser that also accommodates replaceable organic cotton dual coil (ROCC) heads (available separately and 2 in the kit). This advanced tank atomiser features liquid control, a rebuildable deck with dual and single coil capabilities and adjustable air flow with a wide open setting. The internal wall of the chimney and drip tip have a spiral cut to produce a vortex effect on the vapour, providing a smooth draw and great flavour. The deck can be removed from the base of the tank without draining the liquid and the liquid control feature means you can completely close off the juice and seal up the tank. The version 2 Goliath has an amazing 5ml capacity and as it's a sleek 22mm tank it's sure to look great on just about any device.
Compatible Heads (available separately)
Goliath II OCC Heads 5-pack available in 0.2Ω and 0.5Ω dual coil)
Goliath II Ni200 Heads 5-pack 0.15Ω dual coil (For temp controlled devices)
Kanger's hugely popular Subtank Mini is a convertible tank atomiser that offers a choice of replacement organic Japanese cotton (OCC) heads or a rebuildable head (RBA) so you are able to tailor the experience to your liking. The replacement vertical coil heads produce excellent flavour due to the organic Japanese cotton wick. The RBA head is simple to build using either kanthal for standard wattage type devices or Ni200 for temp control devices. The Subtank Mini air-control ring is designed so it can be used for those who prefer a mouth to lung inhale or a wide open draw for direct lung inhaling. Two heads plus the RBA deck are provided in the kit - 1.5Ω for mouth to lung draw and 0.5Ω for direct lung draw.
Compatible Heads (available separately)
SubTank VOCC Heads 5-pack available in 0.5Ω, 1.2Ω, 1.5Ω
SubTank Ni200 VOCC Heads 5-pack 0.15Ω (For temp controlled devices)
Subtank RBA Replacement Head
Are you wondering what device you can use to push these new high power tanks? We have several options in stock now including the Yihi SXmini, Joyetech eVic VT, or an Hcigar Vt40 and the incoming Vt200.
Be sure you check out our new category on the stie for Variable Temperature to find a full list of regulated high power devices and associated temperature control accessories.
We would like to invite you to join us and many other UK vendors at this year's Vape Fest UK. This is the only vaping event run by vapers for vapers. We enjoy seeing the faces of our customers at this event. Lots of fun to be had this year so please be sure to visit the website and plan to go! www.ukvapefest.com
Be sure you enter the raffle drawing for a chance to win this and many great prizes offered.
We have been very busy recently sourcing new products for you and we hope you will have a look at these and many other exciting new items in our Just arrived section.
The Goliath II by Youde has arrived and we are very happy with the updates on this version. Featuring liquid control, replaceable heads as well as a rebuildable deck that supports both dual and single coil builds. We will have the replacement heads in stock in both Kanthal and Ni200 soon.
The JoyeTech eVic VT is a new device from Joyetech featuring a long list of capabilities, most notably temperature control - supporting atomisers built with both Titanium and Ni200 coils. With a very long lasting 5000mAh Lithium-Polymer battery, the device has been designed to capture a racing car aesthetic and is very stylish indeed.
The P3 threaded Kabuki tank by House of Hybrids is a stainless and Pyrex tank that supports Aspire Nautilus heads and supplies additional air flow for better vapour production and flavour. This tank is built to be durable and look nice on top of the ProVari 3 device.
Please note we do have this tank on the way in the standard 510 version as well.
The new range of products from Steam Crave is well worth a try. The tanks have a very unique air and juice feed system making them feel much like a dripper without the hassle of dripping. The three drippers are also unique because of the air cyclone channels that direct the air down from the top and swirl around the coils. This provides a smooth draw and a wide range of build options. The build quality on these items is first class.
We are very happy to bring you a select range of quality assured e-liquid from industry pioneer Decadent Vapours. Prepared and produced in the UK using the highest quality EU-sourced ingredients including the highest quality pharma-grade nicotine.
The Decadent Vapours range offers the finest quality e-liquids (or as they call them, e-ssences), made with the very best ingredients they can find. That's why they taste so good!
Available in 20 mouth-watering flavours including Berrylicious, Crème Anglaise, and Orangella.
The original content of the post, dated 28th June 2015 and entitled Liquid test results, was a table of test results of liquids supplied by Five Pawns (as well as other suppliers) and an explanation of those test results.
They declined to provide their own test results when we commenced trading at the start of 2015, accordingly (and in accordance with our product testing policy) we submitted 8 Five Pawns liquids to testing at an independent UKAS accredited laboratory.
We published the results approximately 7 weeks after providing them privately to Five Pawns.
Five Pawns took exception to the post, sent a cease and desist letter through their attorneys, threatening legal action if our post was not removed.
Whilst we stand by these results, we decided to take down the information to comply with Five Pawns’ request.
Our own solicitors have responded in robust terms rejecting allegations made by Five Pawns, and they have now released their own test results, and it is incontrovertible that liquid produced by Five Pawns contains the compounds in question.
The information relating to specific products withdrawn from sale as part of our testing/due diligence processes has been removed pending legal advice.
Liquid test results - update
Latest test results on our own brand liquid are now available.
There's been a lot of discussion and debate about dangerous compounds that have been found in many flavoured e-liquids and food flavourings used in e-liquid production.
We felt it was about time to give a thorough explanation of exactly what we do, so that you can rest assured, we're taking every step we possibly can to provide as safe a product as possible, according to the current known risks.
We've been testing our products since 2011 at the same independant UK-based laboratory used by Trading Standards. The lab is accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation service (UKAS) to the internationally recognised ISO 17025 standard which means they have demonstrated they are technically competant and have documented procedures and quality management systems in place to ensure they are producing precise, accurate and repeatable test data. This accreditation also means they are continually monitored and audited to ensure their procedures and methods continue to consistently provide accurate and valid results that can be trusted by governmental organisations and compared to test data produced by other accredited labs worldwide.
We don't generally publish our results alongside the liquids, because we anonymise the samples for company confidentiality. This "blind testing" policy is common in many industries, and was introduced to us by ECITA when we first began testing. This method wasn't an issue when we were simply running tests for our own internal due diligence. However, it has caused us to be unable to properly publish all of our own test results alongside the products on our site so we will be changing this policy in the future so we can publish all our test results with the product clearly identified.
Diethylene glycol (DEG) is a known contaminant that is often present in general reagent grade Glycerine that's not designed for ingestion or pharmaceutical use. Some research was released in 2009, claiming that the FDA sampled several pre-filled cartridges and found Diethylene Glycol (a poison) present. It's imperative that these compounds aren't contained in products designed for ingestion, although not much notice is given to this within our industry. We have historically tested all our liquids for both DEG and Ethylene Glycol to verify the purity of the diluents used in the product, and to-date, none of our pre-mixed e-liquids have ever tested positive for either of these compounds. We are proposing dropping this test from our protocol as we're confidentn our manufacturer's protocols eliminate all risks in this area.
As nicotine can be dangerous in high doses, we feel it's prudent to test the actual nicotine level, in random e-liquid samples, both to confirm that it is within tolerance of the stated level, and to confirm it isn't present in liquids that are labelled zero nicotine. It has been our experience that some tobacco type flavour zero nicotine liquids can contain miniscule traces of nicotine, due to to the method of production involved in manufacturing some tobacco flavours, however, we have never seen any results above 0.04% nicotine (0.4mg/ml) in a zero nicotine e-liquid, and any product that tested above 0.02% (0.2mg/ml) would not be released for sale. The last time any of our zero liquids tested positive for traces of nicotine (at 0.01%) was in January 2013.
We run these tests primarily to ensure any product we advertise as "PG Free" is in fact completely free of PG, since these products will typically be chosen by consumers who have an allergy or an intolerance to Propylene Glycol. We also like to see the PG/VG ratios for our own consistency checks and so we can advise customers who have a particular PG/VG ratio preference.
All flavourings used in our pre-mixed liquids, and available as concentrates for DIY mixing have been certified as safe for use in consumption via the digestive system - i.e. they are food-safe. However, this is not the whole story, since ingestion into the lungs via vapour is an entirely different pathway, and some flavourings that are completely safe to be eaten, are not safe to be vaped.
There are a family of compounds referred to as diketones, that pose some serious inhalation risks and should not be present in e-liquid. These compounds are used to provide a buttery/custard/vanilla type flavour and are currently found in many pre-mixed e- liquid ranges, particularly the more complex blends coming from the USA at the moment. The diketones of particular concern are Diacetyl (2,3-butanedione or DA) and 2,3-Pentanedione (Acetyl Propionyl or AP). We also test for the presence of Acetoin, which by itself, is not known to be harmful, but it can partially catalyse into DA under certain conditions, so we do test for acetoin, so that we are aware of the level, if present.
Diacetyl (DA) in its inhaled form, has been identified as the major cause of a serious lung condition observed amongst a group of popcorn factory workers exposed to large amounts of fumes containing DA in an industrial environment over an extended period of time. As yet, no tests have been performed on human inhalation via vaporisation of flavoured e-liquid, however, there is a published occupational safety limit of 66µg (66 parts per million), which means, if you vape 1ml of e-liquid, it must have less than 66µg or 0.0066% DA to be below the occupational safety limit. Our current testing is able to detect DA to 10 parts per million or 0.001%. None of our e-liquids or flavouings contain DA as a specific ingredient, and where we have identified it during testing, we have refused to stock the product or withdrawn it from sale if it was already on sale prior to receving DA-positive test results.
The dangers associated with inhaling DA have been known for some years, and we've been testing for the its presence since 2011, however, it was only in 2014 when Dr Farsalinos released the results of his research, that the industry realised flavouring manufacturers who were responding to the "noise" regarding Diacetyl, had been replacing it with Acetyl Propionyl (AP), and that AP has very similar inhalation risks and is not suitable for vaping either. Prior to this research, many vendors, including ourselves, were unaware that AP also posed a very real risk, and since this point, we have also included it in our testing protocol. The published occupational safety limit of AP is 135µg (135 parts per million), which means if you vape 1ml of e-liquid, it must have less than 135µg or 0.0135% AP in it to be below the occupational safety limit. Our current testing is able to detect AP to 10 parts per million or 0.001%.
As of the date of this article, we do not stock any pre-mixed e-liquids that have tested positive for DA or AP at any level.
We may take the view in future, that some consumers want these types of flavours, and we may decide to stock e-liquid that has tested positive for DA at a very low level, as it occurs naturally in some flavours. If we did this, we would impose a limit ourselves, of approximately 25 parts per million (0.0025%). If we stock any e-liquids in future that do contain traces of DA up to 25 parts per million (0.0025%) we will clearly indicate this information. Where our testing identifies an e-liquid contains DA above 25 parts per million (0.0025%), we will still continue to refuse to stock it. We are unlikely to alter our position on AP, since it never occurs naturally and is only present when it has been physically added.
We do also use the same testing protocol (excluding nicotine assay) on specific flavour concentrates where we believe, by virtue of their flavour profile, could contain harmful diketones. None of our concentrates have ever tested positive for Diacetyl, but some do contain AP in very low quantities. Where concentrated flavourings are concerned, assuming the concentrate is used at 10% and 5ml per day is vaped, our own self-imposed limit would translate to 250 parts per million (0.025%). We will not stock any new flavour concentrates that exceed this level, and those we currently stock that could exceed this level are clearly identified in our flavour concentrates product information download.
It should be noted that where a liquid has a buttery or custardy taste, but has tested free of DA or AP, the buttery note will have been achieved by Acetoin or Butyric acid, or a combination of these components. Butyric acid can cause irritation in some vapers and it can also be responsible for an unpleasant sour after-taste in certain concentrations or flavour combinations.
The amount of liquid you vape per day may exceed averages, thus exposing you to more risk, and indeed, if you are at all concerned about diketones, or other as-yet unidentified, potentially harmful component, we advise you steer clear of all buttery, custardy, vanilla, creamy & sweet flavours or consider vaping subtly flavoured, or even unflavoured liquids, rather than strongly flavoured recipes with many flavouring components present, in high concentrations.
Additionally, it should be remembered that vaping is a "reduced-harm" alternative to smoking - this doesn't mean it's completely harmless but that it's known to be much less harmful than smoking traditional combustible tobacco. The fact that liquids have tested free of these known risks, is not an indication that any one flavouring is more or less "safe" than any other - no long term or comprehensive studies have yet been performed on human inhalation of vaporised food flavourings.
In the recent past, we removed a well-known premium e-liquid range from sale because our test results indicated very high levels of DA (testing showed up to 100 ppm or 0.01%), and extremely high levels of AP (testing showed up to 2500 ppm or
0.25%). We trusted the manufacturer were doing their own due diligence but this experience was a reminder that there are no shortcuts. We are not prepared to take risks with your health and our company reputation, and will not stock any new liquid products until the supplier has provided comprehensive analysis performed by a known, accredited
& independent laboratory, or we have performed our own analysis.
Latest test results on our own brand liquid are now available.
|We're very pleased to inform you that UK orders exceeding £50 in value now ship for FREE! UK Orders under £50 now ship at a flat rate of £3.50. Please visit our delivery information page for more details and terms.|
Further Discount on sale and clearance items
Use the coupon code 'SALE20' to receive a further 20% discount on anything in the 'Sale and Clearance' section on the website. The coupon may be used as many times as you wish until it expires at midnight on Monday the 15th of June. This is an excellent chance to grab an outstanding bargain.
If you forget to use the coupon when ordering, the discount cannot be applied retrospectively.
As always, be sure to check out the Just Arrived section for all new and back in stock items.
One of the great features of the YiHi SX Mini M-Class is that its firmware can be upgraded by the owner.
In this video, Phil Busardo takes you through the process of updating the YiHi SX Mini M-Class to the latest firmware.
In keeping with StattQualm's continued innovation, the new SQuape R[s] atomiser is the same easy-to-build easy-to-use atomiser with a big improvement. Now the tank section is the same size as the previous Nano version, but also includes viewing windows, plus the chimney has been re-designed to allow maximum juice capacity (approx 4ml).
Filling the tank is a very simple process and inspecting the coil can be done without draining the liquid. SQuape R[s] has a six-position airflow control ring with a spring loaded ball bearing that clicks into detents to fix your preferred airflow setting. Interchangeable Ematal decks with differently shaped wick channels allow you to set the atomiser up in many different configurations. Choose a S[tandard], C[urved], W[ide], D[ual] or B[ottom] deck for your kit.
SQuape R[s] stainless tank available separately. These will also fit directly onto a SQuape R[eloaded] base
Available in anodised aluminium colours, SQuape R[s] tank/AFC ring sets. These will also fit directly onto a SQuape R[eloaded] base
Also just in is Cotton Bacon V2 by Wick'n'Vape
Cotton Bacon is the first cotton engineered by vapers for vapers and it's widely believed to be the cleanest tasting cotton for an enhanced, superior flavour. Free from pesticides and chemicals, it's extremely absorbent and heat resistant. Version 2 Cotton Bacon has undergone extra processing to eliminate all natural cotton oils. It is completely tasteless, has no break-in period and is a little more absorbent and heat resistant than V1 Cotton Bacon and many other cotton wicking material.
We're regularly asked about battery safety and proper care, and we're really pleased to help out and advise where we can.
The other day, we received an email from a worried customer, concerned about all the safety information we give on this site. They indicated that they knew a bit about battery safety and had stayed away from mechanical mods because of these concerns. They also said they had only bought VTC5 batteries up to now, and were questioning why we only sell AW batteries.
Most thought-provoking though, was that they asked why we indicate that the IMR batteries are safer chemistry, whilst at the same time providing so much cautionary safety information and "making it sound like they are highly explosive when charging". They further went onto to say that it was a bit of a mixed message, and rather off-putting, when we are the very place he'd expect to be reassured about the safety of the products.
It's interesting to note that this customer (in common with many) was unaware he'd previously been using a battery not designed for or recommended to be used in single cell, non-protected applications (such as in an e-cig mod), and that they themselves are no less dangerous (in certain conditions) as the genuine AW IMR batteries we do sell (and in fact may be slightly more explosive in certain conditions).
Here's an abbreviated version of our response:
"It’s important to understand that ALL lithium ion batteries must be handled with care, and it’s incumbent on us to provide full and complete safety warnings. Batteries are produced in several different chemistries, all of which have different properties. With ICR being the least safe (so much so, ICR batteries should never be used without a seperate or built-in protection circuit), and IMR being the most safe. VTC5 are somewhere in between these two on the safety scale because they have properties of both the highly explosive ICR chemistry, and the much less volatile IMR chemistry. VTC5 batteries were never designed to be used in these applications, and the original manufacturer doesn’t authorise their use in anything other than protected multi-battery packs for use in laptops.
All e-cig users need to understand that these batteries store a large amount of energy, and if the battery suffers a thermal runaway condition, it will vent, and the particular chemistry affects how quickly and under which conditions it may be triggered into venting, and how it behaves during venting.
ICR chemistry must only be used in a protected format, since when it vents, it does so explosively with flame. IMR chemistry does not vent explosively with flame, but will vent hot gasses, and if the device its contained in does not have adequate safety features and venting, it could explode.
Please rest assured, we stock the safest, most well-recognised batteries on the market. The AW batteries have been tried and tested, and beaten all other batteries in our tests, and those tests performed by battery experts – in terms of their performance, longevity, and safety features."
This exchange caused us to wonder whether the question here really ought to have been why other vendors aren’t providing their customers with this critically important information so they are fully informed about battery care and safety? We found it very interesting, and indeed quite shocking that the information we provide about battery care and safety has come as a surprise and indeed caused such alarm to a long-time vaper who had not come across much of this information before.
We don't wish to alarm anyone with our battery care and safety information, but rather, make sure every vaper knows they must pay attention to battery care, and respect and look after their equipment.
Battery venting is very rare, and can be entirely avoided by purchasing genuine, good quality batteries that are specifically recommended for vaping, using only recommended accessories, and observing basic and sensible safety precautions.
If you're shopping elsewhere and don't see battery safety information, it doesn't mean the products are safer than those we provide - it just means the vendor has failed to give you the information you need to use the products as safely as possible. We'd advise you contact that site to ask why they aren't presenting this necessary and important information at time of sale.
Best UK Based vendor - Cloud 9 Vaping
Best Customer Service - Cloud 9 Vaping
Best “High end” vendor - Cloud 9 Vaping
Eleaf iStick - Best budget mod
EVOLV DNA40 - Vaping Innovation 2014
Aspire Nautilus and Aspire Nautilus Mini - Best budget tank atomiser
Enormous thanks to all who voted and to all our customers for making 2014 another award winning year.
Electrical Safety First have asked us to support their campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of purchasing cheap and untested e-cig equipment.
Please visit the Electrical Safety First website for more information.
Best Overall - Cloud 9 Vaping
Best Customer Service - Cloud 9 Vaping
Best One Stop Shop - Cloud 9 Vaping
SvoeMesto Kayfun Lite/V3.1 - Best Rebuildable atomiser/tank
Eleaf iStick - Best Box Mod
Aspire Nautilus Mini - Best Clearomiser/tank
Innokin MVP2 - Best Advanced Personal Vaporiser
Enormous thanks to all who voted and to all our customers for making 2014 another award winning year.
Non-authorised copies and counterfeits are a major problem across all product sectors, but have really got out of control in recent months within the electronic cigarette industry. As a fairly young industry, with many unique brands entering the market each week it’s a very difficult problem to solve, although we have already begun to hear stories of original manufacturers fighting back hard, getting shipments seized and destroyed at the border and getting the PayPal accounts of the dealers of these illegal goods frozen. We can only hope this will become a more common occurrence.
A counterfeit product has every element of the product copied, including the original maker’s marks and logos, or can be a slightly or entirely differently designed product, featuring a known manufacturer’s logo or marks so as to make it appear as if it is made by the manufacturer who owns the logo. Often, the consumer will not have any idea they are purchasing a counterfeit product, and sometimes, even the retailer will have been duped by their supplier too.
Cloning is where most elements of the product have been copied, but the product is intended to be identified and sold as a copy, and doesn’t feature the logo or marks of the original manufacturer. Although it has very serious effects on the designer/manufacturer of the original product, as well as its entire distribution network, it’s harder to prevent because the process of proving intellectual property of designs is harder and very costly, even when a patent is owned.
Essentially, whether you call them counterfeits, copies or clones, they are all theft of original work and made using the intellectual effort and resources of the original innovators.
You might not regard buying a counterfeit mod or atomiser as an illegal transaction, but merely a cheaper way to get the latest device everyone’s talking about. Often the temptation for consumers can be too strong to resist, with many not understanding the very real risks and ramifications attached to this illicit industry.
Besides the very obvious quality issues usually found on counterfeit and clone products, which at their very least, often lead to user experience issues because of poor performance or defective operation, or their visual appearance or “finish” being below par, there is a much more worrying safety concern with these fake products. The safety of a product can be impacted by means of dangerous materials finding their way into the finished products (for example, high levels of lead in cheaper metal alloys) or worse, major electrical faults which could lead to very dangerous explosions and fires despite the user ensuring they observe all the normal safety measures.
Many consumers, particularly in our market, seem very happy to knowingly purchase knock-off goods. Maybe this is because of limited funds, or simply because they can’t justify paying the full price for the equipment they so desperately want to acquire. There is an element that even believes the original product is “so expensive that it deserves to be cloned”.
If you are one of those that think like this, I ask you to stop right there and think a little more deeply about the costs. Imagine for a moment that you spent time and money coming up with a great piece of work, or a product, would you be happy to have invested hours and hours of your time, perhaps time you’d have rather spent with your family, and borrowed or invested thousands of pounds in your idea, only to have someone come along as soon as you release it, and copy it for their own gain and thereby halt any hope of you recouping your original costs?
If you believe you yourself deserve to be rewarded properly for your own talents and effort, and you appreciate the talent and the work of one of the many wonderful and talented manufacturers in our industry, surely you believe they should also be rewarded properly for their work, rather than the efforts and toil being “used” by someone else for material gain?
Consumers also need to be aware that the type of companies engaging in counterfeiting practices will have no concern about the safety of the products, or the safety of their manufacturing processes, and are often engaged in organised crime and/or using child labour to keep their costs as low as possible.
Counterfeit products lead directly to financial turmoil for businesses such as low turnover, stolen know-how, lost jobs, lawsuits and price hikes, followed by growth halt & innovation slowing. The original manufacturer relies on the sales of their original product to pay them back for all their time and investment in the original design, prototype production, manufacturing costs and testing phases involved in bringing a new product to market, as well as requiring the funds to help toward future research and innovation.
The inevitable drop in sales of the legitimate product means these original manufacturing costs may never be fully recovered, or that limited funds remain for further research, innovation and development.
Authorised retailers of a product which has been cloned or faked may find themselves completely unable to sell the original products they have on hand, or only able to sell them at a loss. Without going into great detail here about stock management or the cash conversion cycle, having funds tied-up in un-saleable stock is a massive drain on a businesses’ resources, both in terms of the funds not being available to pay employees or purchase other stock to maintain profitability, and also in terms of the space and resources used by such product whilst it remains sitting in the warehouse.
Also consider the negative impression a poorly performing counterfeit product leads to in the mind of the consumer, who may have no idea it’s not a genuine product. As the saying goes, “mud sticks” and the negative experience will forever be associated with that of the original manufacturer in the mind of the consumer.
The ramifications of counterfeiting aren’t just limited to those involved in the trade – it actually affects everyone in an economy affected by the activity, with Governments, businesses and society being robbed of tax revenue, business income and jobs. The flood of counterfeit products leads to more public spending through the requirements for increased border efforts to spot, and seize the fakes as they are imported, increased Trading Standards’ resources and other enforcement work to counter the illicit trade. It also increases the burden on the government caused by unemployment and low pay (analysis has been performed which indicates 300,000 jobs have been lost in the EU wholly as a result of counterfeiting activity); and it increases the price of legitimate products as companies seek to recoup their losses.
The effort of dealing with the problem, both in financial terms and also in the emotional toll it takes on original manufacturers and their authorised retailers, could mean that they simply lose hope for the industry they love being a part of, and give up and go and do something else instead.
There is a great need, particularly within our industry, to build more awareness of the scale and effects of the problem. Border controls, Trading Standards, merchant payment processors, sales sites (such as eBay and Amazon), Official Trade Bodies and forum owners all need to take a much tougher stand against counterfeiters, and although the responsibility falls on everyone, the greatest change can be brought about by consumers themselves who can to exert their influence with their purchasing choices.
While consumers often cannot identify counterfeit goods, the more obvious routes of supply should be shunned and companies engaging in this trade should be named and shamed. You can avoid contributing to this problem by only going to well-known and respected authorised dealers, and if you are in any doubt, try to contact the original manufacturer and ask them if the supplier you’re about to purchase from is an authorised one. It’s understood that you may find fakes at your local market, but also be aware that they are often sold on professional looking websites.
Stay alert to warning signs. If the product is being sold by someone other than an authorised retailer, steer clear. If the price is too good to be true, then it probably is.
The bottom line is that counterfeiting costs everyone, and those too concerned with paying the cheapest price for their vaping kit, when they should be focused on the harmful effects that these cheaply made counterfeits could have, are the primary drivers for the rampant counterfeiting within our industry. If people refuse to purchase knock-off products, these rogue industries will suffer economically and ultimately disappear.
Vapefest 2014 promises to be bigger and better than ever before. See you there!