By Multimedia Producer Rachel Dixon
UK supermarkets are removing one of the most popular e-cigarettes from their shelves after illegal levels of nicotine were found.
Watermelon flavoured ELFBAR 600s were found to have at least 50% more than the legal limit for nicotine e-liquid.
Across the country, the vape product has been removed from Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury's stores.
Morrisons has gone a step further and has stopped the sale of the whole ELFBAR 600 range.
A spokesperson told ITV News: "As part of our ongoing investigation into the legal compliance of ELFBAR 600 disposable electronic cigarettes with Trading Standards, we have made the decision to remove all flavoured variants from sale.
"The products will only be returned to sale once stock that fully complies with UK legislation becomes available".
A Tesco spokesperson said: “We have temporarily removed one ELFBAR vape line from sale as a precautionary measure, whilst the manufacturer urgently investigates these claims.”
While Tesco is investigating the issue with the vape supplier, the Watermelon line is no longer on shelves. Other vape products are still for sale.
Sainsbury’s followed suit with a spokesperson saying: “We are in close contact with our supplier and have temporarily removed the affected Elf Bar product whilst they investigate further.”
Fellow leading supermarket Asda did not say whether it had removed the product.
Asda confirmed to ITV News that it was working with the supplier to investigate the matter.
The removal of the product comes after a Daily Mail investigation, when the newspaper purchased multiple £5.99 vapes, at a Derbyshire Tesco, and sent them for testing.
An ELFBAR spokesman told the Daily Mail: "We found out that some batches of the Elf Bar product have been overfilled in the UK.
"It appears that e-liquid tank sizes, which are standard in other markets [such as the US], have been inadvertently fitted to some of our UK products.
"We wholeheartedly apologise for the inconvenience this has caused.
It added it would alert retailers and review its production process. ELFBAR insisted the "highly regrettable situation" did not compromise the product's safety.
ITV News has approached ELFBAR for comment.
ELFBAR 600, described by the company as 'the most popular disposable vape', comes in 30 flavours with different amounts of nicotine available.
With sweet flavours such as Blue Razz Lemonade and Cotton-Candy Ice, some experts believe the huge range of flavoured disposable vapes is a factor in the rise in popularity of e-cigarettes among younger people.
A recent survey of children, carried out for Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), found that the proportion of children aged 11 to 17 currently vaping has jumped from 4% in 2020 to 7% in 2022.
In 2013, just 3% of children aged 11 to 15 had ever vaped, but this rose to 8% in 2020 and 10% in 2022.
In England in 2021 between between 3.1 and 3.2 million adults vape, according to the government.
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