How to Spot Counterfeit Vapes

The recent “public health crisis” surrounding vaporizers and e-cigarettes is something that has scared the public into targeting vaping as a whole and implementing laws and regulations that prevent its sale and use. Like any crisis, however, many people have been swayed by the hype rather than being given the information about exactly what is happening and what it means for people who vape. Unfortunately, the bulk of cases in which people have contracted an illness from a vaporizer were tied to black market vape products. In order to make sure that you are vaping safely, here are some tips on how to spot counterfeit vapes.

What Are Vapes?

Vaporizers are electronic devices that make it possible for you to get the effects of certain substances without having to smoke them. This is done by superheating the herbs until the active ingredients are released in the form of a vapor, which can then be inhaled. While this eliminates the harmful smoke that often leads to disease, using a counterfeit vape can put you at risk of coming down with an illness as well.

Why Are There Fake Vapes?

The vape market is like any other market. If there is a demand for something and an inability to get it, a black market will open up so that people can buy the things they want, regardless of the personal or monetary cost. Unfortunately, black markets mean that there are plenty of fake and harmful products floating around. Fake vapes present the issue of being created wrong and having the potential to hurt the user if they are exposed to heat or if they malfunction and break during use. However, it is often the cartridge that is the biggest issue.

Fake Cartridges

Fake cartridges contain the substance that you are supposed to be vaping. These cartridges are typically inserted into the vaporizer battery, which then heats up the contents to produce your vapor. The problem with fake THC vape cartridges is that they are not sold by reliable vendors and that you can never really know exactly what it is you are vaping. Buying from black markets vendors increases your risk of being harmed in the process.

How to Spot Them

If you are looking to avoid purchasing any black market vaporizers or vape substances, there are a couple of easy ways to tell a fake product from a real one.

Cheap Price

Many people want to be able to purchase a product for cheaper but this is often a sign of a fake vape. If you find that one vape costs the same amount across multiple reliable vendors and you find that option on another site for much cheaper, you can almost guarantee that the vaporizer you are looking at is not legitimate. Even during a sale, certain brands tend to be the same price everywhere. If someone is offering it to you for significantly less, don’t purchase a vaporizer from them.

Check the QR Code/Licensed Sticker

Vape companies go out of there way to let you know that they are providing you with a high-quality product. You will typically be able to find a QR code or a licensed sticker on your vape or on the package to let you know that the vaporizer was produced by them and is a legitimate device. If there is no sign of a sticker or if you find one that doesn’t take you anywhere, you will know that you do not have a real vape on your hands.


Even the most convincing black market sellers can’t match the packaging of a real vape product. Common signs of false packaging include missing plastic wrap, misspellings on the boxes description of the product, changes in the pictures of the product, and low-quality packaging that you wouldn’t expect from the company that produces the vaporizer. If there are any signs that the packaging is not real, it is likely that the vape inside is the same.


Knowing what to look for when it comes to fake vaporizers protects you from dealing with the potential health consequences that come with using these products. If you are looking for a new vape, make sure to take note of the tips above and stick to only reliable websites with a proven track record of quality and integrity.

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