RELX warns consumers against counterfeit e-cigarettes

Over 100,000 illicit products removed from market

Multinational electronic cigarette firm, RELX, has strongly warned consumers against buying counterfeit e-cigarettes that are being offered in the market, as the use of such products may result to serious health consequences.

The company, through one of its initiatives, has already had more than 100,000 illicit e-cigarette products removed from the market to date, emphasizing the massive reach of these unregulated goods.

The leading e-cigarette manufacturer’s statement also comes after it successfully won a court case in China against a company which infringed on the registered design of one of RELX’s high-selling products, RELX Essential.

“Preventing the production and sale of counterfeit e-cigarette products is one of the main challenges currently facing the e-cigarette industry. Counterfeit e-cigarette products pose serious potential health risks to consumers,” said Patrick C. Drilon, RELX International Head of External Affairs – Philippines.

“While governments and local authorities work to implement stronger enforcement methods to rid the market of these harmful products, international e-cigarette companies can and should do more to aid them in this global fight to offer consumers products that abide by safety standards by undergoing stringent quality checks,” Drilon added.

A court in China ruled that Fumei Technology (Dongguan) Co. Ltd., which manufactures and sells the TIKO electronic atomizer, infringed on the design patent of RELX Essential as Fumei’s product carried the same appearance. Fumei Technology has been ordered to compensate RELX RMB 120,000 for its infringement.

During the litigation process, Fumei Technology even tried to invalidate RELX’s design patent claim, but this only strengthened RELX’s position as the Intellectual Property Court made it clear that RELX has the exclusive right to use the said design.

The issue involving these counterfeit products goes beyond illegally copying designs, as the actual use of these illicit goods could also have a serious adverse impact on consumers. These fake e-cigarettes did not go through the rigorous process of approval by regulators and do not meet international standards, thus these products may contain chemicals that are harmful to its users.

These knockoffs may also have fake or recycled batteries that could even explode or start a fire when used.

RELX, which is a trusted brand for adult smokers with its state-of-the-art products, industry-leading technologies, and scientific advances in collaboration with talented and committed people around the globe, highlighted the importance of choosing e-cigarettes from reputable brands that can guarantee high-quality products.

Vaping products are highly acknowledged as less harmful alternatives to cigarette products, thus it is important to choose well-tested and regulated products from a legitimate brand.

Unfortunately, as more countries express support and acknowledge the benefits of vaping, illegal pop-up players have taken advantage of the opportunity to earn fast money with their counterfeit goods.

While the company could have just solely focused on offering its high-quality e-cigarettes, it opted to actively participate in the global fight versus the production and sale of said illicit products. RELX takes its commitment seriously to not only comply with government policies but also to help regulators address and put an end to the proliferation of counterfeit e-cigarettes.

RELX’s Golden Shield Program which the company established in August 2019 has helped authorities launch 26 criminal cases related to the illegal production and sale of illicit or copyright-infringing e-cigarette products.

Since then, more than 17,000 websites and 6,000 social media accounts have been taken down due to the Golden Shield team’s efforts, while 110,000 illicit products have been removed from the market.

The Golden Shield team monitors and tracks illicit e-cigarette products sold online around the world. Through its in-depth investigation, the team is able to discover and track the complete illicit product supply chain, including the production, distribution, and sale of illicit e-cigarette products.

As a responsible member of the vaping industry, RELX is highly committed to abide by each government’s own policies and standards. The RELX Pledge is the company’s commitment to corporate accountability, centered around protection: the protection of minors, the protection of consumers, and the protection of economic livelihoods.