Your VaporBuddy May Contain Lead

Troubling news for anyone who’s used a VaporBuddy pipe.

As mentioned in our VaporGenie review, the VaporBuddy is a knockoff of the Genie and was thought to be of questionable quality.

As it turns out, some (maybe all) models of the VaporBuddy are coated with, get this, lead paint. Yes, lead paint, used to coat a pipe. Doesn’t get much worse than that.

Here’s the email Dan sent me, the pdf with the lab results is at the bottom.

Thanks again for your well written, thorough and honest review of the vaporgenie.

Recently, we bought a few vapor buddy pipes (the VG knockoff), and had the paint on them tested for lead. We scraped the paint, and sent it to a laboratory for testing. The paint contained 7500ppm lead, which exceeds the federal limit for toys and consumer items. The lab test result is attached. There is also a page on our website about this.

So, the paint on the vapor buddy pipe contains a significant amount of lead. Also, in the pipes we tested, there was lead paint *inside* the pipe. Outrageous.

Anyway, you should know that there are TWO versions of the vapor buddy on the market: an “original” knockoff, and a super-cheap ($10) absolute piece of junk knockoff (that doesnt even work). They are difficult to tell apart. We tested the $10 junk knockoff, because at the time we were not aware of the difference. So, the cheap junk VB contains lead for sure, but we dont yet know about the the “original” VB. We have ordered some of the “original” VB pipes so that we can test them for lead. We will post the results, and send them to you when we get them.

The guys at sell the “original” VB. They insist that it does NOT contain lead, and that it is anodized, not painted (anodized coatings do not contain lead). However, they have not done the testing, and I am skeptical of their claim. We will know for sure once we get the lab results.

Anyway, I thought I would let you know whats happening with the Vapor Buddy. People need to know that these pipes contain lead and are therefore a health hazard.


Lab results PDF or image.

More on this story.

I will update with the findings of the next test when it’s available to me.


  1. jeff
    Posted March 16, 2008 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Although the Vapor Buddy is a knockoff of the vapor genie , having personally used both i can say that the vapor buddy is worth more . not only is it a lot more durable and heavy but it looks cooler than some lame wooden pipe. i have never seen the 10 dollar vapor buddy mine was 40 $ and didn’t have a drop of paint inside the bowl or any part where vapors would flow through , the only paint is on the outside. I think vapor genie made these claims because they are losing so much money to a foreign cheaper made superior product. So if you have a choice between helping out an American company or a import the choice is simple…either you save money or you lose it. I am advocating the vapor buddy because no one else who has one seems to care enough to write a review for them. THEY WORK!

  2. Vapor Buff
    Posted April 9, 2008 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Ok, you don’t like the vaporgenie, that’s fine. But how can you be so sure your vaporbuddy is constructed safely? Have you had it analyzed? I’d be a little more concerned.

    FWIW, most of the reports I’ve heard put the VG ahead of the VB in terms of effectiveness.

  3. Jason
    Posted April 14, 2008 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    In response to Jeff – I’m curious what the manufactures of the VaporBuddy have to say about this. I can’t seem to find any information on the company… why don’t they speak out about the lead in the VaporBuddy? Why don’t they have any public presence whatsoever?

  4. Jason
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Has anyone read this article posted at This article contains both reports conducted independently at the request of VaporGenie.

  5. Posted July 18, 2008 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    The reason that the vaporbuddy manufacturers remain invisible is because they are a fly-by-night, disreputable company. And they know they are violating our patent and will be sued if they set up an operation in the US, Canada or Europe.

    For the record, vaporgenie is doing very well, not not losing significant sales to the vaporbuddy. Unlike vaporbuddy, vaporgenie is easily accessible and provides a product warranty.

    We dont think the vaporbuddy is superior, of course. However, we are working on a metal version (stainless steel) for people that prefer metal to wooden pipes.

    Wood has some nice features: it is very lightweight, durable, and it does not conduct heat.

  6. WTF Kenneth?
    Posted August 13, 2008 at 2:53 pm | Permalink are liars.

    They claim “1-5 day air shipping” when it’s actually priority mail, which was sent by truck. They also claim the absolute lowest price, or they’ll match it. I called them for a price match and they said “that vendor is selling it for less than the minimum allowed price so we won’t match it.”

  7. Antego
    Posted November 1, 2008 at 4:22 am | Permalink

    Yeah, but this doesn’t have, in any way, any concerns about havaing lead in your pipe…

  8. David
    Posted December 21, 2008 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    I have a vapor buddy and there is no paint inside, no paint near the flame, so it could not possibly be inhaled even if it were lead, and the ceramic filter works fine. Sounds like vaporgenie, while being probably the best, just wants to shut out the competition for not getting their patent before they started selling their product.

  9. Vapor Buff
    Posted December 24, 2008 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    Vaporgenie does have a patent, they can’t do anything because the Vaporbuddy is a faceless Chinese import. I’d be upset too.

    There’s been enough press about lead in toys from China. Do you really want to take a chance with an underground, novelty import from China that’s used for inhalation with a flame??? You couldn’t pay me to use one.

  10. caps and pipes
    Posted February 24, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    where can you find caps for the vb? without the caps these vb are worthless

  11. Admiral Shellington
    Posted May 24, 2009 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Anyone posting about how they “love their vaporbuddy” is a MORON. It’s a PATENT VIOLATING CHINESE KNOCK OFF COATED IN LEAD. They are made with cheaper parts, and the flame filter actually DETERIORATES as you use it, crumbling so you can inhale the chinese ceramic lead dust, because it’s not a solid ceramic from a single piece. Anyone who would defend that piece of shit product just because they accidently bought it to try to save face is a loser. Enjoy sucking on your inferior functioning chinese lead, lol, you make good decisions. The VaporGenie is an awesome product made with quality materials at an affordable price…I pity the morons that spent $85(at my head shop) on a VBuddy, lol.

  12. pharma bee
    Posted June 15, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    i have a vapor buddy….it works fine, but i feel dumb for not gettin the real deal!!! i will let mine go for half what i paid at 70 bucks….THIS SUCKS!!! i would much rather have a wood peice that might float because i kayak alot!!! so GO GENIE, if you didnt already make the same mistake i did!!! ~pharmabee

  13. 2crudedudes
    Posted January 29, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Call me paranoid, but most of the accusations I’ve seen of the Vapor Buddy being unsafe are coming from Vapor Genie representatives, you know, that company that got “ripped off” for the design.

    Although lead paint is no laughing matter, I’d be wary of flat out trusting the competitor about a product they feel rips them off.

  14. Kushhh
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    I have a vaporbuddy works great. I agree with most people on here. Every one accusing VaporBuddy is a rep for VaporGenie. I haven’t found anything written from outside sources. I live in Canada and tons of headshops all over the country sell it.

    I called a headshop and inquired about the lead and no one has any idea about it. If it was really unsafe as VaporGenie claims I don’t think it would be allowed to be sold in Canada.

  15. Kushhh
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    If VaporGenie really wants to rid the competition and it is that unsafe. Why wouldn’t they have people send there vaporbuddies in exchange for a vaporgenie that is comparible. Im sure they could recycle the pipes down and make new ones without lead.

  16. sttttteeeeeeevvvvvve
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    lol anybody defending the vb, your living proof that the vb DOES have lead in it and its hitting you like puberty hit justin bieber! and of course vg is going to be the ones posting most of the things about how bad vb is, they care about their customers and dont want them getting ripped off

  17. edward twitterhands
    Posted December 4, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    I think VG is Jealous of VB cuz who has to resort to lead paint to turn you off their compeditor

  18. Alex
    Posted February 13, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    I also bought the vapor buddy for 20 bucks from hong kong and ill tell you its far from a peice of trash would of payed alot more. I stay loyal to the vapor Buddy Unlike its competiters saying whatever they can to discourage people from buying a superior vaporizer. Also would like to comment i contacted vapor genie about there replacement filter to compare them.They sayd they wont sell me it just because i told them i bought a vapor buddy. :( :( realy

  19. Merc
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    I know this comment is a little late but i work at a shop that sells these pipes, and having thoroughly inspected them, ours are anodized aluminum, and the “ceramic” is not a inferior piece of ceramic, it is pumice, o porous volcanic rock that is resistant to heat and lets air through, now whether or not you would want something that is anodized aluminum and pumice, i’m not sure, but there’s no lead in the ones we have.

  20. Shane
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Take a torch to it. Get rid of any paint, then use it. Problem solved for those who don’t like it.

  21. heh
    Posted September 9, 2013 at 4:42 am | Permalink

    sorry vapor genie, healthy competition helps the consumer get the best price and product. in terms of ‘patenting’ your ‘technology’, well, to be honest, that’s like trying to patent the wheel, there’s nothing particularly innovative there and the vapor buddy does it better. drop your prices and drop the lame ass looking ‘grandpa’ pipe design and I’ll give you a try, until then I’ll go with the sturdy metal contemporary designed pipe with the lower price tag.

  22. heh
    Posted September 9, 2013 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    Hey, I just noticed your site that you now have metal pipes and your prices seem to have come down a bit as well, so I retract some of what I said.

    However, I notice your battery powered vaporizer:

    Uhm… speaking of ripping off other companies products, is it just me or is that not a complete rip-off of the popular Magic Flight Launch Box?

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