EXCLUSIVE: Retailers Instructed to Immediately Remove Illegal Lost Mary Vape Products from Shelves

Regulators state grape and cola flavors from its QM600 product have also been found to be non-compliant

In a recent development, regulators have officially confirmed that selected Lost Mary disposable products are illegal and have urged retailers to immediately remove them from their store shelves. The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) and the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) jointly issued a letter on 15 March, disclosing that further investigations had led to the identification of additional affected batches, including certain Lost Mary products.

Last month, betterRetailing reported that Booker and One Stop had voluntarily withdrawn their range of Lost Mary disposable pod products due to a manufacturing quality issue. The affected batches were primarily related to the BM600 device, encompassing flavors such as Blueberry, Blue Razz Ice, Blueberry/Sour Raspberry, Cotton Candy, Double Apple, Kiwi Passion Fruit Guava, Mary Bull Ice, Pink Lemonade, Strawberry Ice, Triple Mango, Triple Melon, and Watermelon Ice.

However, in subsequent communication, regulators confirmed that grape and cola flavors from the QM600 product range were also deemed non-compliant.

It is important to note that while regulators have emphasized that the overfilled products do not pose a significant health risk during normal use, they have stressed that non-compliant products should not be available for sale to consumers.

Furthermore, the decision to take action regarding the remaining non-compliant batches still on the shelves is left to individual retailers, based on local priorities, competing demands, and available resources.

This revelation follows closely on the heels of leaked testing data from BAT (British American Tobacco), which alleged that almost all major disposable vaping brands contain illegal levels of e-liquid.

BAT sent a letter to wholesalers, revealing that it had commissioned independent laboratory testing on Elfbar 600 products purchased from supermarkets and independent retailers between 6 September 2021 and 7 March 2023. The test results indicated that the products exceeded the legal limit of 2ml of nicotine-containing e-liquid, with overfills ranging from 2.76ml to 3.88ml, averaging at 58%.

As a response to the ongoing scandal, the CTSI and MHRA have confirmed that replacement compliant products have started to arrive in the country.

John Dunne, the director general of UKVIA (UK Vaping Industry Association), commented on the matter, stating, “Whilst we understand that mistakes can happen, everything possible must be done to ensure that they are few and far between because, as we have seen in recent weeks, the reputation of the whole industry depends on it.”

Dunne further emphasized the need for an active testing program integrated into the MHRA approvals process, along with random spot checks to maintain compliance standards over time. Additionally, he called for swift and decisive action by relevant authorities when non-compliance is detected, ensuring prompt rectification and providing clear guidance for manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.

The issue of non-compliant Lost Mary vape products and the wider concern of illegal e-liquid levels in disposable vaping brands continues to raise questions about product safety and the regulatory oversight of the industry. Retailers are strongly advised to remove the identified illegal Lost Mary products from their shelves to uphold consumer safety and adhere to regulatory standards.

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