How To Spot Fake Disposable Vape Pens And Why Avoid Them

Vape’s booming industry is infested with many counterfeit items with questionable quality and ingredients. As well as ripping people off, the biggest concern is the health hazard.

As with fake cigarettes, we don’t know for certain which harmful chemicals you might be inhaling from using fake vape cartridges, but they are not worth the risk.

If you’re not careful, it’s easy to become a victim of counterfeit products because the difference between fakes and genuine products can appear very subtle.

What Do Fake Vape Pens Look Like?

Fake vape pens are not fool-proof. If you look closely enough and inspect carefully, there are many significant details that will give them away.

If you’ve already bought a vape cartridge and you’re unsure of its authenticity, you should look into the packaging, cartridge, and the oil quality.

Packaging, Cartridges, Oil

Imitations may use authentic-looking packaging. Unsurprisingly, well-known vape brands face some of the worst counterfeitings. Disposable pod systems like JUUL are some of the most counterfeited e-cigs in the market, and that’s why it’s important to only buy from authorized vape vendors.

When you buy disposable e-cigs online, you should remember, if a well-known brand is sold at a price that is too good to be true, then it probably is. Furthermore, here are a few of the common traits of counterfeit vape cartridges:

Unusual packaging design

Other fake vape cartridges have strange packaging designs. Sometimes, they will try to use well-known cartoon figures or images, copyright infringement in itself, but they don’t have a brand name or any information to verify whether they’re authentic or real. So this is a pretty big giveaway.


Alongside unusually low pricing or poor design, a simple misspelling in the packaging also gives it away.

Premium disposable vape pen brands go through rigorous quality testing to meet basic standards, so they wouldn’t allow misspellings to tarnish their brand name. So, if your vape’s packaging looks sketchy, then it’s most likely fake.

Low-quality print

Another thing to look out for is the quality of the packaging. Did it arrive in mint condition, or do the letters on its packaging seem faded? This is because counterfeiters don’t put much effort into packaging, compared to high-quality brands.

The ink they use on the packaging is very low quality, and that’s why some letters are erased when it oxidizes or is exposed to air. If it looks this poor on the outside, what you get on the inside won’t be much better.

fake vapes still contain nicotine but at a very low concentration

Outdated packaging

You might also notice that packaging may be outdated. Brands who experience counterfeit products may change and refresh designs from time to time, so if the vape pen you bought looks nothing like the new ones released by the same brand in the market, it’s highly likely to be fake.

No Batch/Serial/Licence Number, Manufacturing/Packaging date, QR Code

Although not all makers of vape pens show a license number or QR code, it’s still important to compare what you have with the real ones in the market.

Moreover, some brands print a manufacturing date or packaging date on the product.

Before you use the product and inhale whatever is inside, run a quick Google search or check out their social media accounts, and compare what you have to that of their product pictures.

Low concentration

A big difference between fake and real is in the level of satisfaction you get from the product. If you happen to buy a fake vape cartridge from someone who is not a licensed dealer, and the taste or kick is different, or you find you have to inhale more times than you usually would, you’re probably smoking a fake product.

Pre-filled counterfeit disposable vape cartridges do not have the same concentration as that of the original.

Bought a Fake Cartridge? Here’s What You Smoked

According to the CDC, fake vapes contain Vitamin E acetate, pesticides, and heavy metals

Vitamin E may sound safe, but not for vaping. Most of the fake vapes found contain Vitamin E as a thickener because it gives it the same consistency as the original product.

Aside from vegetable oil, some unregulated vapes contain harmful materials like pesticides or fungicides that become hydrogen cyanide when they’re vaporized. Hydrogen cyanide is an extremely toxic substance, and it was even used as a chemical weapon in the past.

Heavy metals like lead have also been found.

It is important to make sure you only buy from legitimate sources because vaping fake vape pens can lead to life-threatening illnesses There have been cases of ARDS, acute respiratory disease syndrome, and other severe lung illnesses.

Vaping fake vapes can also cause difficulties in breathing and airway irritation. Based on the investigation of the CDC, the rising number of vape-related lung illnesses is related to fake vape products.

Alongside the quality and satisfaction you deserve from vaping, there are very real health hazards when unknown chemicals are incorporated into fake products, and customers are vaping unknowingly. You may not know exactly how much harm it’s doing, but it’s simply not worth the risk. It can be difficult to check the legitimacy of a seller, so it is always advised to buy from accredited stores or licensed sellers.

How to Avoid Buying Fake Vape

The first step to avoiding imitation packages is to avoid buying from unregulated wholesale markets

So, the best plan is to buy direct from a licensed store or distributor so you can be sure that what you’re getting is legally approved. In California, sellers are given a license number, and they are required to display it publicly.

Do not buy from pop-up shops and avoid the black market because whatever you may think you save in money is not worth the health risk to yourself and others. If in doubt, always compare your purchased product with what is displayed on the manufacturer’s website before you start using it.