Disposable vape device on top of a wooden block being struck by a wooden gavel.

Introduction

If you didn't know already, at the end of January 2024 the UK government announced a new bill that aims to give them the power to ban disposable vapes in the UK. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced plans on Monday 29th January 2024 stating that "strong action" should be taken to stamp out vaping in children as he highlighted the latest vaping bill.

You may not be aware that this bill also aims to grant the government new powers to restrict vape e-liquid flavours, introduce plain packaging, and change how vapes are displayed in shops to prevent the appeal to children. This latest bill also connects with the anti-smoking law and smokefree 2030 ambition [1] which will prevent anybody born after January 1st, 2009, from buying tobacco products.

In this article, we cover everything you need to know about the disposable vape ban in 2024. We will update this article regularly with the latest information directly from the UK government, industry bodies, and across the vaping industry, to offer simple and easy-to-understand content on how the bill has progressed. Be sure to bookmark this page as a reference point to stay in the loop.

Current progression of the Disposable Electronic Cigarettes (Prohibition of Sale) Bill.

Last updated Wednesday 12th June 2024

Current progress: The Disposable Electronic Cigarettes (Prohibition of Sale) Bill [2] is currently suspended due to parliament being within a pre-election process. It will most likely be reintroduced when parliament resumes after the general election.

The Bill was suspended when going through its first readings, if it continues it will still need to proceed to the committee stage and report stage, where it will then go through a third reading and move on to the House of Lords.

On Wednesday 6th March, The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt delivered his 2024 Spring Budget where a vape tax called the Vaping Products Duty. Set place to go ahead on 1st October 2026, the tax could see e-liquids taxed up to £3 per 10ml. We've created a separate article addressing the "UK Vape Tax - Everything You Need to Know" for further information on this.

The UK Government have also updated their "Creating a smokefree generation and tackling youth vaping consultation: government response" [10] on Monday 12th February 2024. They have stated that in order "to tackle the rise in youth vaping, the UK Government will take powers to make regulations to:

  • restrict vape flavours
  • restrict how vapes are displayed in stores
  • restrict packaging and product presentation for vapes
  • apply the above restrictions to non-nicotine vapes and other consumer nicotine products such as nicotine pouches

The UK Government intends these measures to be taken forward in secondary legislation which will be subject to further consultation". 



Summary: UK government has announced a bill to ban disposable vapes, restrict vape flavours, and change packaging, due to the rise in children vaping and environmental concerns. There is no set date on when disposables will be banned as the bill still has to be passed into law. Contact your local MP if you're worried that restrictions could impact you in a negative way, such as returning to cigarettes.


What is the UK government banning or restricting?

According to a UK Government press release published on 28th January 2024; "Disposable vapes will be banned in the UK as part of ambitious government plans to tackle the rise in youth vaping and protect children’s health." [3]

The press release goes on further to summarise the latest vaping bill and the powers granted if passed through the House of Commons and House of Lords as highlighted below.

2024 Disposable vape bill plans to:

  • Ban disposable vapes
  • Restrict vape flavours
  • Introduce plain packaging
  • Change how vapes are displayed in shops
  • Make it illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone born on or after Janaury 1st 2009.

Although the main focus point seems to be on the banning of disposable vapes, it is clear that the government wants to grant additional powers to restrict and control vaping further in areas such as flavours on offer and packaging currently permitted. The core points of the argument are clearly about children vaping and the impact on the environment caused by single-use vaping products being disposed of.

Further on in this article, we address the concerns raised with further context from within the vaping industry, alongside data from authoritative sources to highlight the positives and negatives this latest vape bill provides, with ways you can act if you're worried about how this could affect you if passed as law.


Difference between a bill and a law to ban disposable vapes

There's a lot of confusion as to whether the latest bill announcement means it is now illegal to purchase, sell, or use disposable vapes. It's important to note that currently, the mention of banning disposable vapes is just a bill.

According to UK government, "A bill is a proposed law which is introduced into Parliament. Once a bill has been debated and then approved by each House of Parliament, and has received Royal Assent, it becomes law and is known as an act." [4]

This means that for now there is no set law in place for banning disposable vapes in 2024, although it does seem clear that lawmakers are in agreement that something has to be done to further prevent youth access to vaping.


Why is the UK government banning disposable vapes?

The government argues that single-use vapes have seen a rise in youth access, alongside a growing concern over their impact on the environment. Although these reasons create a cause for concern, a blanket ban may not be the best solution.

Fash Ferdowsian, director at Royal Flush Vape warns that "the government's plan to outright ban disposable vapes and the possible restrictions on vape flavours could see a sharp increase in unregulated and illicit products entering the UK".

By taking away smoking alternatives that adult vapers throughout the country have relied upon to remain smokefree and away from cigarettes. Although we completely agree that e-liquids and vape kits should not be targeted towards children, flavour preference plays an important role in adult vaping as an alternative to smoking.

A survey carried out by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) in 2023 [5] highlighted that fruit flavours are the most popular among adult vapers with very few having a preference on tobacco flavoured e-liquids (see table 1 [5] below).

Table showing the most used e-liquid flavours used by current smokers, ex smokers and those who have never smoked. Table shows that 49% use fruit flavour, 14% menthol or mint, 11% tobacco and 4.8% don't know when it comes to current smokers.

If UK government was to restrict fruit flavours, or limit to tobacco and/or menthol flavours, this would have a negative impact on adult vapers in the UK with the potential to lead them back to cigarettes as an alternative. It's vital to get the balance right to prevent youth access, whilst also avoiding pushing adult vapers back to cigarettes.

Underage and black market sales

The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) highlights similar issues in Australia which brought in vape restrictions making them only available through prescription. They state that "as many as 92% of vapers are buying their products through illegal channels and as many as 100 million illicit products are smuggled into the country every year." [6]

The core issues relating to youth vaping could be resolved by the government if the laws already in place to restrict the sale of vapes to underage people were enforced. Fash Ferdowsian further pointed out that "it's unfortunate that non-compliant vapes are being sold throughout the UK in places such as barber shops and takeaways with many having limited or no age verification in place."

If the government set out to enforce this area with more power and a welcomed increase in fines for those caught selling to underage people, it would become harder for children to obtain e-cigarettes from non-compliant retailers, whilst addressing non-compliant and illegal vapes found in the likes of barber shops, takeaways, and sweet shops.

Environmental impact

When it comes to the environmental concern of disposable vapes, we've covered the potential impact of single-use vapes in the past with a guide to greener vaping and highlighted the importance and guidance on recycling any used vaping products.

Although we do everything in our power to minimise our carbon footprint, additional support from the government for the likes of better recycling schemes, or new funding for improved recycling centers could help address any environmental concerns.

Further restrictions and impact

Disposable vapes have seen a lot of negative press, especially over the last year, which seems to be the main target for UK lawmakers. Fash further stated that "as a reputable and UK-leading vape store, we do everything in our power to restrict vaping from those underage, with robust processes, and infrastructure such as 1account and MyCheckr, with closely monitored policies online and throughout our stores in Lancashire."

Although Royal Flush Vape strongly agrees that any vape-related product should not be aimed towards children, an outright ban on disposables or other measures that are still being reviewed such as restricting flavours could jeopardise the significant progress made in reducing smoking rates throughout the UK, whilst posing a threat to millions of adults who have successfully managed to quit smoking with the help of vaping.

Negative impact of proposed restrictions

In a recent poll conducted by One Poll, and highlighted by the UVKIA, [6] as many as 1.5 million vapers fear they would return to smoking if flavours were banned, and a significant 83% of vapers claim that flavours have helped them 'pack in their smoking habit'.

In addition, the Royal College of Physicians supports the use of a range of flavours, including fruit flavours to aid smoking cessation in adults. They state "the use of flavours by adults trying to quit smoking is an integral part of the effectiveness of vaping as a quit aid. Government should restrict flavour descriptors rather than flavours themselves." [7]

We understand that it's vital to safeguard children, but it's also important to ensure that those of a legal age and looking to purchase e-cigarettes have access to compliant vape devices and e-liquid to continue a reduction in smoking rates without posing a threat to the well-being of the public by removing products that have helped them quit smoking, and that could help many more switch to vaping which has been highlighted as 95% less harmful to your health than cigarettes [8].


When will disposable vapes be banned in the UK?

There is no date set in stone for when disposable vapes will be banned in the UK. There are many measures that have to be met for any definitive law to be brought in for both disposables and other regulations the government has set out.

Although all parties have voiced their concerns over the rise in youth vaping, alongside the environmental aspect of single-use electronic cigarettes, the bill will have to be discussed and passed in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, where any changes or amendments have to be agreed upon, before being signed off by the King which is known as a Royal Assent.

Only once all the above has been completed can this latest vaping bill be turned into a law, and there is no way of knowing an exact date on how long this could take or if agreements can be made.

Can you still buy disposable vapes?

Yes, until the bill is passed and laws are introduced, disposable vapes are still available to purchase in the UK. It is most likely that if/when disposables are banned, there will be a time period for retailers to sell through their stock.

For this reason there is not much reason to immediately worry if you rely on disposable vapes as an alternative to smoking, but we would recommend looking at disposable vape alternatives, such as starter kits paired with disposable type e-liquids to closely replicate what you are used to with disposables.

Can we do anything to change this vaping bill?

As with any change to vaping that we believe could cause a negative impact on UK adult vapers, we advise anybody who is concerned about these proposals in the 2024 vape bill to contact their local MP.

As highlighted, this is currently a bill and not a law as of yet, although a ban on flavours will negatively impact vapers throughout the country, especially with the proposed powers to restrict e-liquids, prefilled pods, and of course disposable vapes.


Vape ban media and press inquiries

Here at Royal Flush Vape we value and respect the importance the media plays in education; we are committed to working alongside journalists and members of the media to provide professional and transparent content for any queries you may have.

Our expert team of copywriters, marketing specialists, photography, and video editors are committed to work closely with members of the media to provide industry quotes and data on a broad spectrum of topics.

Partnered with the UKVIA (UK Vaping Industry Association), Living Wage, and 1account, we are on the front line educating consumers with the latest facts and guidance on smoking cessation whilst ensuring we limit future generations from picking up the habit of smoking.

For press and media inquiries, please be sure to contact us


Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Yes. Although disposable vapes are set to be banned with a bill announced in January 2024, disposables are currently not illegal to purchase, sell, or use at the time of this article being published.

Disposable vapes are set to be banned with a new vaping bill introduced in January 2024. The bill aims to ban disposable vapes, whilst also giving the UK government power to restrict flavours and change how vape packaging is displayed.

Although the current bill set out by the UK government aims to ban disposable vapes, flavours, and packaging may also be restricted. If you rely on disposables as an alternative to smoking, we advise looking into starter vape kits and nic salt e-liquids to closely replicate the vaping experience you're used to.

The latest vaping bill is the Disposable Electronic Cigarettes (Prohibition of Sale) Bill which was publicly announced at the end of January 2024. This bill is not a law as of yet, but is currently going through the bill passage to become possible law. The new vaping law in the UK will set out to ban disposable vapes, whilst also granting UK government the power to restrict flavours, introduce plain packaging, and change how vapes are displayed in shops.

Under UK law, any vape cannot hold more than 2ml of e-liquid straight out of the box, which is approximately 600 puffs. Although the latest coil technology in some devices can offer slightly more, any traditional disposable vape that offers over 600 puffs from opening would arguably be illegal in the UK.

Disposable vapes are neither worse or better than traditional vape kits. As long as you purchase from reputable retailers and ensure the products purchasing are compliant with UK law, a disposable vape should not be any worse than any other TRPR-compliant device.

There is no set date for when disposable vapes will be banned as latest bill was only introduced at the start of 2024. However, the UK government have speculated that the banning of disposable vapes is expected by early 2025, with the law possibly passed by the end of 2024.

Possibly. The latest vaping bill is still to pass through UK lawmakers where amendments can be made to change the overall outcome of the law. It is most likely that the sale, import, and distribution of disposable vapes will be banned and you may still be able to use single-use devices that you may have. However, this will only be known for sure when the disposable vape bill is brought into law.

 


Disclaimer: The content on www.royalflushvape.co.uk offers general insights about vaping and vape related products. Please be aware that this information is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice and should only be relied upon when explicitly referenced. We make no guarantees regarding the accuracy, reliability, or health-related advantages of the content displayed across all pages of our website, including blog posts, product pages and social media content.

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