UK to Ban Disposable Vapes

Liz Filmer
30 Jan 2024

After much speculation that it was on the horizon, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has confirmed that the government are to ban disposable vapes as part of a drive to curb youth vaping.

The government is also looking to reduce the appeal of Vaping by restricting the variety of fruity, sweet flavours, introducing plainer packaging and making shop displays less visible. The changes will be made towards the end of this year or in early 2025.

 “As any parent or teacher knows, one of the most worrying trends now is the rise in vaping among children, and so we must act before it becomes endemic. As prime minister, I must do what I think is the right thing for our country in the long term. That is why I am taking bold action to ban disposable vapes – which have driven the rise in youth vaping – and bring forward new powers to restrict vape flavours, introduce plain packaging and change how vapes are displayed in shops.” UK PM Rishi Sunak

The motion comprises part of a wider reaction to a public consultation on the topic of smoking and vaping, resulting in plans for some of the world’s most stringent anti-smoking measures This includes a ban on the sale of tobacco products to anyone born after 1 January 2009.

Whilst vaping is considered a useful tool in assisting smokers to quit, doctors are worried about the long-term, unknown health impact of vaping on children and young adults given their still-developing respiratory systems. This is as well as the problem of nicotine addiction.

Current figures show that the number of children using vapes in the past three years has risen threefold with 9% of 11-15 year-olds now using vapes. The ratio of 11-17-year-old vapers using disposable vapes has also grown by almost nine-fold in the past two years.

The ban will also help to reduce the significant environmental impact of disposable vapes. It is estimated that 5m disposables are thrown away each week, which is a sharp rise on the 1.3m from last year.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have embraced the announcement, which comes hot on the heels of their campaign in June 2023 to ban disposable vapes and tighten marketing restrictions.

The plan to ban the sale of tobacco products to those born after 1 January 2009 however, looks set to be met with opposition from the benches of the Houses of Parliament. Rebels including former prime minister Liz Truss, has labelled the move as being a “wholly un-Conservative policy”.

The government is optimistic about introducing legislation to ban disposable vapes as soon as it can by utilising existing environmental protection regulations. The ban is expected to also be enforced in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales via devolved legislation.

More on this topic from Soft Secrets:

Is Vaping Safe?

Vaping or Smoking? What's the Difference?


Liz Filmer