With the rapid development of the e-cigarette industry, an increasing number of counterfeit and non-compliant products have been flooding into the market. Those fake devices pose significant threats to customers' health and also damage brands' reputations.
The hazards of counterfeit and non-compliant components
1. Security risks caused by non-compliant batteries
Counterfeit e-cig products can be produced to appear extremely similar to authentic ones. However, although encased in seemingly perfect shells, the internal components such as batteries and atomizers, are often made from low-quality materials. Impurities in inferior metals disturb the transition of charged particles, which lead to a short lifespan, inadequate performance, and, most seriously, increase the possibility of accidental combustion.
2. Potential health risks of counterfeit e-liquid
E-liquid created by reputable manufacturers combines common pharmaceuticals, food additives including glycerol, propylene glycol and flavors, and a standard volume of nicotine. Those constituents are used to create stable and reliable atomization for e-cigs. In contrast, counterfeit e-liquids may contain ingredients or concentrations that differ from those claimed on the label. In other words, they likely comprise low concentrations of nicotine and contain unidentified impurities. As a result, there can be unknown long-term health effects leading to potential health risks for customers.
What actions are being made to prevent counterfeit and non-compliant devices from entering the market?
Employing internal chips for certain components
Advanced anti-counterfeit technology has been developed to prevent fake e-cig products from entering the market. Specifically, the manufacturer installs chips into the pod, which are capable of reading product serial numbers rapidly. These internal chips are equipped with both positive and negative pins which ensure the pods' effectiveness. This high-end, innovative technology acts as a barrier to unqualified counterfeit manufacturers, preventing the illicit duplication of cartridges or pods for e-cig products.
2. Setting up a mature anti-counterfeit code recognition system
With the adoption of special code encryption technology, a mature anti-counterfeit code system can be built. The system compiles a unique code, known as the commodity identity code, for each product. This random code is indecipherable, confidential, and unique. Codes are stored in a secure database and printed as special commodity identity codes to paste onto the goods. With this system in place, consumers can scan the commodity code on the e-cigarette package with their cell phones and get the accurate identification result immediately – a simple and convenient process. In addition, with no scanning frequency limit, subsequent commercial activities between different distributors and retailers are not affected. A further benefit is that market supervisors can also scan and identify any suspicious e-cigarette commodities to locate and recall the counterfeit products before they flow into the market.
3. Collaboration with professional anti-counterfeit corporations
Although the advanced anti-counterfeit technologies described above have been developed, the sizeable cost represents a major hurdle for many manufacturers. To cater to the needs of these manufacturers, there are many professional anti-counterfeiting companies which can provide services including laser coding technology, directly engraving the digital verification code onto e-cigarette cartridges and packages. This technology is less expensive, and effectively solves the problem of a lack of data traceability. For manufacturers, there are additional benefits to the use of digital coding. Marketing activities can be integrated into the codes' production, so that customers scanning the codes with their phones receive promotional activity information directly. In this way, the brand can benefit from increased sales and an enhanced reputation.
Reviewing the revolutionary history of the e-cigarette industry over the past few years, we can see that it has experienced significant prosperity, but also substantial chaos. Currently, cutting-edge anti-counterfeit technology sits alongside a well-developed and strict market supervision system. Therefore, certified manufacturers are in a strong position to see off the threat from counterfeiters and initiate a legal and clean vaping market for the future.