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Amazon’s ‘Nicotine-Free’ Vapes Contain Hidden Nicotine, Raising Concerns

In a shocking revelation, vapes marketed as “nicotine-free” on Amazon have been discovered to contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance. A thorough investigation by The Guardian uncovered this alarming discrepancy, leading to concerns over consumer safety and the regulation of such products. This news highlights the need for increased scrutiny of vape products, particularly those sold online.

The Investigation

The Guardian’s in-depth investigation has brought to light a troubling issue within the world of e-commerce. The focus of the investigation was on seven products, all of which were listed on Amazon as “nicotine-free” vapes. However, the startling revelation was that six out of the seven tested products contained nicotine – a highly addictive substance. This revelation is not just a minor oversight; it carries significant legal and health implications. In the UK, it is illegal to sell vapes that contain nicotine while advertising them as “nicotine-free.” This breach of regulatory guidelines raises questions about product safety and the accuracy of product descriptions in the online marketplace.

At the heart of this investigation is the genuine concern of a consumer who prefers to remain anonymous. This consumer’s story adds a human element to the issue. They had purchased a pack of disposable vape pens labeled as “nicotine-free” with the intention of using them as a tool to quit vaping altogether. However, after using these pens and subsequently discontinuing their use, the consumer faced unexpected and uncomfortable withdrawals. This experience prompted them to investigate further. Upon delving into product reviews and hearing similar stories from other consumers, it became evident that these pens might not be as advertised.

When the concerned consumer reached out to Amazon’s customer service to clarify whether the products indeed contained nicotine, Amazon’s initial response was somewhat disheartening. Instead of addressing the potential issue directly, the consumer was advised to contact the seller directly. This response raises questions about the level of oversight and accountability within online marketplaces. It begs the question of who should bear responsibility for ensuring the accuracy of product descriptions and safety claims.

The investigative findings went beyond just nicotine content. Some of the tested vapes also violated regulatory guidelines regarding e-liquid tank capacity. In the UK, vaping regulations stipulate that vape tanks must have a capacity of no more than 2ml and contain a nicotine strength of no more than 20mg/ml. Any products exceeding these limits are considered illegal and should not be available for public purchase. This highlights the complexity of the issue, extending beyond nicotine content alone.

To its credit, Amazon reacted swiftly upon discovering these discrepancies. The company took immediate action by removing the products in question from its marketplace. This move was made in anticipation of a comprehensive investigation into the matter. Furthermore, Amazon pledged to enforce its policies rigorously and take punitive measures against any third-party sellers found to be in violation. Amazon’s proactive stance demonstrates its acknowledgment of the gravity of the situation and its commitment to consumer safety.

‘Nicotine-free’ vapes sold on Amazon found to contain nicotine

Implications and Government Response

The revelation that “nicotine-free” vapes on Amazon contain nicotine has far-reaching implications that extend beyond the immediate issue of mislabeling. It highlights the need for more stringent regulation of vape products, especially those sold online. The problem goes beyond nicotine content and touches on potential health and environmental risks associated with these products. Specifically, concerns have arisen regarding the improper disposal of single-use vapes, which often contain lithium batteries and can pose environmental hazards when discarded.

The imminent government announcement regarding a potential ban on disposable vapes is indicative of the gravity of the situation. Leading pediatricians and councils have been advocating for such measures, citing growing concerns about the health risks posed by the increasing use of single-use vapes among young people. Moreover, environmental issues stemming from the improper disposal of these products, with their lithium batteries, have garnered significant attention. The government’s response to these concerns will likely shape the regulatory landscape for vape products in the UK.

‘Nicotine-free’ vapes sold on Amazon found to contain nicotine

Previous Revelations and Regulatory Challenges

This latest investigation comes on the heels of a previous exposé by The Guardian, which shed light on the seizure of millions of illegal and potentially harmful vapes over the past three years. Trading standards authorities characterized this situation as merely the “tip of the iceberg,” indicating that the problem of mislabeled or unsafe vape products is widespread and pervasive. The challenges of effectively regulating vape products have become increasingly evident as their popularity continues to grow.

Julian Beach, the interim executive director for healthcare quality and access at the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, has emphasized the critical importance of strict adherence to UK regulations. Companies are legally obligated to provide comprehensive information about their nicotine-containing e-cigarette products to ensure compliance with safety and quality standards. Consumers are actively encouraged to report any adverse effects resulting from the use of nicotine-containing e-cigarette products via the Yellow Card scheme. This transparent reporting process is crucial for monitoring and addressing potential health concerns related to vaping.

Amazon, as the platform through which these products were sold by third-party sellers, has taken swift and decisive action in response to the investigation’s findings. The company has expressed its unwavering commitment to upholding all applicable laws, regulations, and Amazon policies. Amazon has implemented proactive measures aimed at preventing prohibited products from being listed in its marketplace and continues to monitor its platform diligently. Furthermore, Amazon has pledged to take resolute action against any third-party sellers found to be in violation of its policies. This response showcases Amazon’s dedication to consumer safety and its recognition of the serious nature of the issue at hand.

‘Nicotine-free’ vapes sold on Amazon found to contain nicotine


With a potential ban on disposable vapes and grappling with the health and environmental implications of these products, it becomes evident that a comprehensive approach to vaping regulation is imperative.

Furthermore, the response from Amazon, one of the world’s largest e-commerce platforms, underscores the importance of corporate responsibility in ensuring the safety of products sold on their platform. Amazon’s commitment to removing mislabeled products and taking action against violators of their policies demonstrates a proactive stance toward consumer safety.

Ultimately, the mislabeling of vapes as “nicotine-free” on Amazon is not just a single incident but part of a broader challenge in regulating an industry that is constantly evolving. It highlights the necessity for governments, regulatory agencies, and online marketplaces to work collaboratively to establish and enforce clear standards for vaping products. This includes accurate labeling, product safety, and environmental considerations.

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Vape Breaker Team

A professional team of 7 e-cigarette enthusiasts from all over the world. We are committed to providing e-cigarette users around the world with the most professional e-cigarette reviews, the latest information, and the most comprehensive guides, etc.

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