The HSE has told the Irish Mirror it is looking into reports that certain flavours of a widely used vaping product may contain illegally high levels of the addictive substance nicotine.
The investigation by Ireland's health service comes as some supermarkets throughout the UK have started banning Elf Bars from sale after an investigation found certain flavours exceed maximum nicotine levels.
In particular, the probe found that the watermelon-flavoured Elf Bar 600s had at least 50% over the legal limit for nicotine e-liquid. This flavour was stocked in some of the major UK supermarkets, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons.
The vapes, which were removed from sale in these supermarkets following the investigation by the Daily Mail, are also stocked in Ireland. However, there has not yet been confirmation that Elf Bars with an unsafe level of nicotine are currently stocked in Irish supermarkets.
Despite this, the HSE has said it is looking into the reports.
In a statement to the Irish Mirror, the HSE confirmed: "We are aware of this matter and currently looking into these reports."
However, in a separate statement to the Irish Mirror, Vape Business Ireland (VBI), explained: "VBI has not received notification from the HSE or other relevant authorities regarding the existence of these non-compliant products in Ireland.
"We do, however, remain gravely concerned about the possibility of these non-compliant products being available on the Irish market and VBI call on the HSE to investigate if this indeed is the case."
The vaping trade association also added that Elf Bar is not a member of Vape Business Ireland.
According to a spokesman for Elf Bar, the products were overfilled in the UK as wrong tank sizes, which are standard in the US market, and were fitted to some UK products. The vaping pens in question had a capacity of 3ml to 3.2ml, over the EU and UK limit of 2ml.
In a statement, the spokesman for Elf Bar 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.”
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