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The news

Over the last few weeks vendors have been showered in praise for releasing test results, many of which contain huge levels of Diacetyl and Acetyl Propionyl (A.P) – I question why these products were allowed to be sold in the first place.

It is morally repugnant that any vendor would not wish to confirm the quality of a product before selling it to their loyal customers – customers that, for the most part are unaware of the potential hazards.

Before retailing a product that we produce or import from another supplier, we conduct thorough GC-MS testing to ensure the products are free from all known hazards. Only then do we even consider offering it to the unaware general public.

Test levels

Before even taking this step however, we remove the possibility of them being present from the supply chain. Working with our flavour house to reformulate flavours and removing flavours that go through fermentation processes.

We are fortunate in our circumstances that we can conduct these tests in-house, however even if we did not, the expense would be warranted on a moral level if nothing else.

The one-off

Vendors that conduct one-off testing for their products. While this is a good start to confirming your product is of a satisfactory quality for human consumption, it is not enough.

Have the raw ingredients been contaminated during transit? Did your supplier mix the nicotine strength correctly? Did the flavorist use the wrong chemical to create the flavouring?
The list goes on, but the answer is always the same – “I don’t know” and you never will unless you confirm every single batch by GC-MS.



We have recently seen Five Pawns release a Cease & Desist notice to vendors that have released their own independent tests on their product range which showed alarming concentrations of Diacetyl and Acetyl Propionyl.

Five Pawns have released a statement giving their views on Diacetyl and diketones in general as well as a copy of a 2014 lab test, which also contains levels of Acetyl Propionyl.

Five Pawns is claiming that the alleged results from the GC-MS testing done for Cloud9vaping are incorrect, unfortunately both are likely to be accurate.
Some flavourings go through a fermentation process, leading to wildly different outcomes during production, which leads back to “The one off” section of this blog.

Tests are required for every batch produced, end of story.

Added extras

The concept of brightly coloured e-liquids and barrel-aged juice is a novel and exciting idea, but a reckless act.

With an industry already under the spotlight from government bodies I see it as an act of suicide to be adding chemicals that we have no understanding of when inhaled.

Aging e-liquid in barrels is certainly premium – high end whisky companies have been doing it for centuries, but who has posed the question of the potential dangers from leeching?

Wood absorbs liquid, a surprising amount and also allows the liquid to “breathe”. Fine for alcohol which has almost no expiry date and kills bacteria. E-liquid on the other hand does have an expiry date and doesn’t fight off bacteria on anywhere near the same levels.

As it stands, no one knows the risks associated with this kind of storage process, why take the risk?


The cost

The real cost is the health of customers, the secondary cost is fairly negligible.
An independent lab will charge anywhere from £100 – £150 per GC-MS test.

We charge from £60 – 80 per test and this reduces significantly when committing to higher volumes. (As low as the sale of two bottles of premium e-liquid)



There will always be questions of trust when a company performs its own in-house tests and some vendors simply won’t want to give a competitor their cash and that’s fine.

To counter this fear we have cut through the red tape to attain UKAS accreditation before 4th quarter of this year.

For those that don’t know what UKAS is:

The United Kingdom Accreditation Servers (UKAS) is the sole national accreditation body recognised by the British government to assess the competence of organisations that provide certification, testing, inspection and calibration services. It evaluates these conformity assessment bodies and then accredits them where they are found to meet the internationally specified standard.

Final thoughts

It’s safe to say we will never be front page news when it comes to quality standards, those that are doing the right thing never do.

Unfortunately the culture of praise within the industry seems to be fairly warped in its acceptance of companies putting their hands up and saying sorry after the fact, when there are measures available to prevent it in the first place.