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RELX Pledge to ward off threat of counterfeit vapes

June 22, 2021

The RELX Infinity device (Credit: RELX)

 Vape brand RELX has announced the launch of a three-pronged RELX Pledge strategy to focus on youth access prevention, counterfeit goods and supporting new businesses globally.

The Guardian Programme is a longstanding part of the brand’s efforts to protect young people from accessing the brand and includes support for retailers, on-pack health warnings and the use of the Guardian Programme logo on product packaging to ensure retailers and customers are aware that the products are restricted to adults only.

RELX also has a policy of using models over the age of 25, not using youth-orientated lifestyle imagery and branding its flavours without using fruit flavour names.

In the UK, meanwhile, the firm has innovated by using Verifymyage software to ensure e-commerce sales do not reduce the security of youth access prevention software.

The second part of the company’s pledge is its Golden Shield programme to combat the emergence of counterfeit products and so-called ‘compatibles’. Compatibles are vapes capsules made to fit a specific device yet not produced by the official manufacturer or to their same quality and safety standards.

The company is working with enforcement agencies globally, and on an individual local basis, to ensure that illegal products are identified and taken off sale. RELX has so far taken down 77,000 websites selling illicit products and removed approximately 500,000 products from market as part of 28 major cases.

To help shoppers have the confidence that their products are legitimate, RELX provides a two-stage authentication process featuring a QR code and validation number that can be used to identify products on the RELX website.

The company is also working closely with the trade, partnering in the UK with vape trade association the UKVIA.

The final part of the RELX pledge is ‘Green Shoots’ which will see the company support build entrepreneurial skills within the markets where it operates. This will begin as a pilot in the Philippines from July with other markets to benefit as the programme rolls out.

RELX International’s CEO and co-founder, Bing Du, said: “While we’re expanding quickly on the commercial side, we also need to make sure that every product that reaches a consumer’s hand meets our standards. To ensure the best experience for our customers, every RELX product goes through 18 very strict quality control steps. Our products are manufactured in the RELX factory which has met international-recognised standards. But we know that’s not enough. Social responsibility and giving back to our communities are also among our top priorities.”