The Dark Side Of Vaping

Last Updated: Feb 24, 2023
The Dark Side Of Vaping

Updated January 2022

The Distribution of Illegal Disposables

Many of you have likely seen the recent news of a raid by Trading Standards at the top of the year so we wanted to update you on what you need to look our for, so you can be as informed as possible when purchasing your products.

Disposable e-cigarettes have been all the rage in recent months, and we have seen a number of hardware and e-liquid brands start to manufacture these handy little devices. Unfortunately, though, the massive increase in demand for disposables has resulted in amateur and counterfeit products being produced - that could be incredibly dangerous to consumers.

Trading Standards seized around £190,000 worth of non-compliant disposable vape kits in a single raid in Newcastle last year. Recent investigations have also concluded that in Liverpool people were able to buy illegal disposables at 74 retailers, where some kits were able to reach up to 3500 puffs per device, way above the legal limit. In addition, at least 11 large-scale manufacturers have been closed down in China in recent months. 

Current TPD guidelines restrict the amount of e-liquid to 2ml, giving you around 600 puffs per device equivalent to a pack of cigarettes, and the percentage of nicotine at 2%/ 20mg nicotine in the UK. This is to attempt to limit excessive vaping and prevent nicotine overconsumption.

Trading Standards are offering their advice on products for anyone who is unsure, and compliance visits will be carried out throughout the year, seizing any illegal vaping products.

On our site, we only stock compliant disposable vaping products. UK ECIG STORE is a reputable supplier and we also ensure to stay up to date with the latest changes in regulations.

We are also happy to offer advice to anyone wanting a disposable kit and will gladly help you decide which device is best for you.

To avoid purchasing a potentially harmful or illegal disposable kit, ensure to purchase your devices from reputable and regulated sources like us!

Beware of Black Market Products

Everyone loves a good bargain, so if you are looking to buy the latest electronic devices at a low price, you might find yourself on unverified black market sites. In the UK, we have specific rules and regulations put together by Public Health England and other health and vaping professionals to ensure people are being as safe as possible.

We want to discourage people from getting their products from unverified sites and market places, and make sure you have all of the information you need to make sure you are safe and purchasing good quality devices that meet all regulations. In this Blog we will cover:

UK vaping laws

Black market products

Where to safely buy products

Illegal products

How we’re helping

Our advice

What are the UK Vaping Laws

Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (TRPR) and The Tobacco Products and Nicotine Inhaling Products have set rules and regulations that were updated after BREXIT, to ensure safe regulations were still in place after exiting the EU, from where our former regulations were put in place by the EU.

The TRPR rules ensure:

  • minimum standards for the safety and quality of all e-cigarettes and e-liquids
  • that information is provided to consumers so that they can make informed choices
  • an environment that protects children from starting to use these products.

The Requirements:

  • Restricted e-cigarette tanks to a capacity of no more than 2ml
  • Restricted maximum volume of nicotine-containing e-liquid for sale in one refill container to 10ml
  • Restricted e-liquids to a nicotine strength of no more than 20mg/ml
  • Nicotine-containing products or their packaging to be child-resistant and tamper evident
  • Banned certain ingredients including colourings, caffeine and taurine
  • New labelling requirements and warnings
  • All e-cigarettes and e-liquids be notified to the MHRA before they can be sold

What Are Black Market Products

The Dark Side Of Vaping black market

Black market products may be shipped into the UK from abroad meaning the UK regulations are not always safely met. Some markets or stores are selling 5ml tanks, although the UK regulations confirm 2ml capacity tanks should be the maximum amount, to restrict excessive use. In addition some places are selling Non-TPD compliant liquids. This means they are not the legal size, or may contain harmful restricted substances or an extremely high level of nicotine which can be dangerous and highly addictive.

These products are being sold under the radar, meaning the seller may not have a licence to sell the products and they are not being moderated.

The products being sold through these channels often do not have an age verification process, meaning underaged people and children could purchase these products.

It is also unlikely that the people selling these vaping devices will be knowledgeable about what they are selling, and may be unable to offer accurate recommendations or support.

Where Can I Buy Vaping Products Safely

Certified websites such as UK ECIG STORE that sell electronic cigarettes and other vaping products, do the correct and required checks to be able to sell legally in the UK. We ensure to get the required certification for all products from vendors before we list them. We also complete physical checks to ensure all of the required warnings and signage are present when the products first arrive in our warehouse.

We ensure that our suppliers are certified and that they provide us with TPD compliant products that are safe and regulated.

What Vape Products Are Illegal

In addition to the regulations and laws mentioned above, under EU regulations vape juices containing diacetyl were banned in 2016. The maximum strength of nicotine permitted in vape juices is capped at 20mg/ml. The size of e-liquid containers with nicotine is capped at 10ml, and cartridges (pods) and clearomisers (e-cigarette tanks) can hold a maximum of 2ml.

It is also unlawful to sell shortfill e-liquids or high VG liquids usually 50-100ml that contain nicotine. These bottles usually come nicotine-free, and you can separately purchase and add flavourless nicotine shots that can make up a max of 6mg nicotine.

What We're Doing To Help

We recognise these black markets are not a respected part of the industry, but we are aware that they are part of the industry nonetheless. They represent a dark side of vaping. We think it's important to be aware and to make others aware of  negative areas within the industry and by not legitimising it, we are working to educate and inform people that are interested in vaping and we are working on creating a well informed vaping society.

We think it is crucial to be transparent about where we stand ethically and morally and do all we can to ensure we are acting responsibly and legally as a product provider.

This is why we also have a thorough and certified age verification process, to guarantee that we are selling our products to people of legal age. As well as other verifying processes to ensure we are acting ethically.

We strive to sell our products at affordable prices and that we have something for everyone so people feel happy about making their purchases with us, and feel confident about buying our products.

Our Recommendations

Ultimately vaping is less harmful than smoking a traditional cigarette and is the best way to quit smoking, however, buying unverified products can be detrimental to us and our society. We recommend looking into where you are getting your products from before buying them. Avoid getting any vaping products or products being sold by vendors that are not approved or regulated. It's much safer to get your vaping products from a regulated company that has procedures to ensure they are acting accordingly.

If you have any questions, concerns or queries about products we have or about vaping in general check out our website or contact our dedicated support team. We are vaping professionals that have been in the vaping business for a long time, and know pretty much everything there is to know about vaping, so any advice we give will be based on knowledge and experience.

To help you make the right decision we have lots of resources such as guides, blogs and more on our site to help you make informed and educated decisions around what products are best for you!

Have you ever seen companies selling illegal products on the Black Market? Share your story with us in the comments below.


I’m happy to buy 5ml tanks from reputable vendors outwith the EU and U.K. it’s a stupid rule limiting capacity to 2ml

C. Macleod

Is there a list of black market companies?
Also is the chain of shops called ‘Vaporised’ legal? This is where I usually buy my mods.
I often get my eliquid from local garages. Are they safe?

Selina Craze

I agree with Stephen C. Afraid I’m happy to import a 5ml tank rather than purchase a 2ml one in the UK. Stupid law that has UK vendors hamstrung.


The 2ml capacity rule needs to be looked at and removed, doesn’t make any sense.

Stephen C

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