Disposable Vapes Being Banned In The UK In 2024?

There have been reports that disposable vapes banned in the UK. You've probably noticed a lot of buzz in the news about the potential ban on disposable vapes UK. However, the final date has not yet been given, and the matter is still debated.

The Science and Technology Secretary, Michelle Donelan, has publicly denied the rumours. In an interview with Sky News, she further added.

We have been looking into this and have been doing a review because this is a very worrying trend that we see of young children taking up vaping who have never smoked before, and it is extremely dangerous to their health and their well-being, which is something that we do need to act on.

When asked particularly whether disposable vapes will be banned, she simply said:

“We’ll be making further announcements on this.”

Disposable Vapes Banned In The UK

The last few years have been hard on the vaping industry. It has seen significant ups and downs and is trying to retain its positive image. Ministers and various health analysts are considering banning disposable kits that use enticing colour packing and irresistible flavour combos and names to captivate the attention of minors. This has led to the pressing question: are disposable vapes being banned UK?

Individuals below the age of 18 are fascinated by these alluring vape devices and buy them without considering their health effects.

UCL News has published a blog evidencing a prospective UK ban on disposable vapes that might affect millions. According to the research, one in every seven young individuals (18-24) and one out of every twenty adults may be impacted.

According to the NHS, vapes are less harmful than cigarettes and help people quit smoking. Now, the question that arises here is, when vaping is less harmful than smoking, why is there a debate about disposable vapes being banned UK?

Why Does The Government Want To Ban Disposable Vapes?

Reports indicate that disposable vaping devices will soon be banned in the UK, according to the GOV.UK plans to restrict disposable vapes to control underage vaping. To protect children's health, this program prohibits kid-friendly flavours, provides plain vape packaging, and controls retail displays. This is part of the government's plan to create the UK's first smoke-free generation, in which children born after a certain year are barred from purchasing tobacco products.

Different bodies have backed this proposal. The proposal is fueled majorly by two key factors:

  • Concern about the growing underage vaping trend among adolescents.
  • The increasing number of illicit vapes.

Disposable Vapes Banned Due To Underage Vaping Concern

Youngsters' brains are underdeveloped when they are still growing up. Most vape devices contain nicotine e-liquid. When a teenager inhales such vapours, their brain gets the nicotine dosage and starts to rely on it. This concern has led many to advocate for policies that would ban disposable vapes to protect the health and development of young people.

E-cigs or vapes are not recommended for adolescents. However, over the last few years, the trend of vaping has significantly increased among young ones. Ash revealed that in 2023, 20.5% of British youngsters had tried vaping, up from 15.8% in 2022 and 13.9% in 2020 before the first COVID lockdown. Underage vaping has prompted the government to take action against the sale and purchase of disposable vaping kits.

Vapes or e-cigarettes were created to give smokers a better nicotine alternative. There is no doubt that these battery-operated devices have helped thousands of smokers quit smoking. Despite being helpful in smoking cessation, vaping kits are labelled as harmful!

The Increasing Number Of Illicit Vapes

Vaping laws in the UK are tighter and tougher than anywhere else. Every vape shop owner is obliged to provide people with legitimate vaping products. The products must have been registered by the MHRA before sale and comply with TPD regulations.

With such tight regulations, it is nearly impossible for vape shops to sell unethical products. However, there are cases where counterfeit products and illicit vapes are sold to minors, prompting discussions about a disposable vape ban.

The illicit vapes often contain toxicant chemicals and higher nicotine levels that could damage the health of people. Did you know that more than 2 million illicit vapes between 2022 and 2023 were confiscated by the Trading Standards In England?

According to the Tobacco Products Directive:

  • The e-liquid tank must be at most 2ml.
  • The nicotine in e-juice should be confined to 20mg/ml.
  • A separate nicotine e-liquid bottle should not be larger than 10ml.
  • Vape products and their packaging should contain warning labels and signs.

Any vape product that does not adhere to these requirements will fall into the category of illicit vapes!

What Happens If Disposable Vapes Banned In the UK?

Ex-smokers have benefited a lot from e-cigarettes. The Guardian reported that Over half (56%) of ex-smokers have been vaping for more than three years, suggesting the prolonged usage of e-cigarettes as an aid to smoking cessation.

A vast majority of smokers have completely stopped smoking after transitioning to vapes. If the ‘UK bans disposable vapes’ turns into reality, there are chances that smokers will not get another effective smoking alternative easily. There is also a probability that illegal tobacco products or harmful nicotine products could establish an illegal vape market.

According to Scott Buttler, Executive Director at Material Focus, an environmental charity:

“If the legitimate industry is banned, then there will be no mechanism to deal with all the operational challenges and costs of illegally sold vapes, which have the same challenges. It could lead to hard-to-control illegal sales and an established illegal vape market.”

Are Elf Bars Banned?

The common question in Elf Bar fans' minds is, “Are Elf Bars banned in the UK?”. No, selling and purchasing an Elf Bar is not banned in the UK. There are better solutions than banning vaping for the long term. However, tightening the rules around vaping and scrutinising the vape industry could lead to more positive results.

The Standards published an article saying that while safety concerns have prompted regulatory talks, Elf Bars are lawful in the UK. Instead of a ban, the government focuses on tougher regulations and surveillance to combat teenage vaping and provide a safe environment.

Imposing heavy fines on the corner shops and vape shop owners who sell their products to underage children should be considered. The long-term strategy should be legislated and implemented for disposable vapes banned so that teens do not get their hands on vape devices.

What Are Disposable Vapes? How Do They Work?

A disposable pen kit is a battery-operated device comprising an atomiser that heats up the e-juice to create vapours. An e-juice or e liquids is typically made of Propylene Glycol (PG), Vegetable Glycerine (VG), Flavours, and Nicotine (optional).

The vape tanks comes pre-filled in a disposable kit, and the battery is already charged in most cases. All you have to do is take out the device and inhale through the mouthpiece. They are not as bad as tobacco cigarettes. Unlike regular ciggies, disposable vaping devices do not burn tobacco and create carbon monoxide and tar, two of the most obnoxious chemicals found in cigarette smoke.

Nicotine comes in various strengths in the e-juice of disposable kits. You can choose the one that curbs your cravings, but make sure that it also complies with TPD regulations. You can also go with nicotine-free disposable vaping kits. The choice is yours!

Final Verdict!

Disposable e-cigarettes are the top-selling vape devices in the UK, with over 7.7 million sold weekly in 2023. Till now, no strong evidence clarifies that vapes will be banned in the UK in 2023. However, the government is taking serious steps to ensure that children do not involve themselves in vaping.

According to a blog post by The New York Times, the UK government plans to outlaw disposable vapes by the end of 2025 to combat vaping among young people. The government is tightening controls on vape flavours, packaging, and display to make vapes less appealing to minors and prevent underage smoking.

A clear statement will come in the upcoming year in which the final decision regarding the disposable vapes banned UK will be made.

England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Sir Chris Whitty, Said:

 “Vaping can be useful for smokers to quit but should not be marketed to non-smokers, and marketing them to children is utterly unacceptable. “