Counterfeit merchandise is not uncommon. Everyone is familiar with the concept of people selling cheaply produced products by passing them off as high-end brands like Rolex, Ray-ban and Louis Vuitton.
Well it seems British e-cigarette manufacturer Liberty Flights Ltd. is now facing a similar problem.
Let’s face it, most people like to save money. Therefore, as the popularity of e-cigarettes rise, there is higher demand for a cheaper way to gain access to these vaping product. Those in the counterfeiting business are more than willing to provide such a product as long as there’s demand for it.
Imitation Liberty Flights have been discovered in several worldwide markets. Like other counterfeit products, these e-cigarette clones are made of cheaper materials and sold well below retail prices.
While counterfeiting in many other instances won’t harm a consumer (i.e. knock-off sunglasses or purse are unlikely to cause you physical harm), using low quality materials can seriously damage e-cigarette users (particularly e-cigarette batteries). In addition, counterfeit e-liquid often contains much higher than normal levels of nicotine.
Some brands, like British American Tobacco PLC, are partnering with forensic experts to research instances of counterfeiting. In these instances, some manufacturers have noticed e-cigarettes that falsely use their traditional tobacco brands (for example, Kent and Vogue).
For now, e-cigarette counterfeiting is a new concept and still being considered a minor problem. Nevertheless, experts feel that the trade of illicit e-cigarettes will continue to grow along with increased demand.
This rise in counterfeiting will only add to the already long list of aspects of e-cigarette regulation that weighs heavy on the shoulders of the vaping industry.
Typically, having a product counterfeited is viewed as a negative (and yes, it is when you consider that a business loses out on money and has their product’s copyright infringed upon); however, it could be interpreted at least as further proof that e-cigarettes are in high demand.
That’s our “glass half full” take on it anyway…