Due to the popularity of disposables with Geek Bar being the most popular, the UK market has started to see a lot more clones, fakes and illegal versions. Yes, the UK market has seen a large influx in fake and cloned Geek Bars, as well as illegal non TPD compliant versions lately.
Why Should I care if my Geek Bar is a fake or a clone?
You should care for one reason, and one reason only – your health. All e-liquids sold in the UK/EU containing nicotine must first be approved for sale by MHRA. This is part of the TPD regulations introduced in May 2016. MHRA also has a list of flavourings that are “banned” that should not be used in the manufacturing of e-liquids due to health concerns. On top of this, all e-liquid manufacturers must submit lab reports, that then has to be approved by MHRA before anything can be sold in the UK. As disposable vapes including the Geek Bar contains nic salt e-liquid, they to must comply with the TPD regulations.
The TPD regulations has a limit on both the nicotine strength on e-liquids as well as a restriction on the size of tanks and pods.
In the UK there is a limit of 20mg nicotine strength, anything higher than 20mg will not be approved and can therefore not be legally sold, this is also sometimes referred to as 2%.
The TPD also puts a 2ml limit of the e-liquid capacity on tanks and pods, which nicely bring us to the next point illegal Geek Bars, mainly Geek Bar Pro’s being sold in the UK.
Why is the Geek Bar Pro illegal in the UK?
The Geek Bar Pro range was never intended for the UK market, the Pro range was designed to be sold to the US market. In the US they have different regulations and restrictions to the UK. With the current TPD regulations in the UK, the Geek Bar Pro cannot be sold legally here. This has however not stopped some scrupulous online sellers and other retailers in the UK from selling them.
The Geek Bar Pro disposables come prefilled with 4.5ml of nic salt e-liquid, meaning they have a tank/pod size over twice the the allowed limit. The nicotine strength of the e-liquid is also much higher at 50mg, also referred to as 5%, this is again more than double the strength of what can legally be sold in the UK. We recommend that you report any sellers in the UK selling Geek Bar Pros to TPDsafety@mhra.gov.uk as this will cause issues for all vapers in the long run where we will probably see even stricter regulations or a straight up ban on disposables.
New Packaging as of September 2021
Geek Bar has started to updated their packaging, and we will mostlikley see all Geek Bar’s getting this updated packaging soon. To clarify, these are genuine Geek Bars so there is no need to worry. Starting from September 2021 we have seen new stock with which now include a very welcomed over 18 years of age warning on the front of the box, along with some small tweaks to the graphics. These are again genuine and customers will mostlikley see a mix of new and old packaging during this transition.
How do I know if I have a fake Geek Bar?
At the time of writing this article there are a several ways to spot a fake Geek Bar and we have listed them all below.
Nr.1 - The holographic security check sticker
The way to spot this is mainly on the colour of the holographic sticker. This sticker is located on the back of the box, or on the side of the box on the latest batch of Geek Bars.
Nr.2 - Incorrect Manufacturer Details
Fake Geek Bars will have the wrong manufacture details on the back of the box, or to be more precise the address is not printed in the same way. The Font is also slightly different.
Nr.3 - Incorrectly formatted authenticity barcode on the side of the box
The bar code on fake Geek Bars are fomated incorrectly.