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Is A UK Disposable Vape Ban On The Horizon?

Is A UK Disposable Vape Ban On The Horizon?

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On September 11th 2023 there were a lot of mutterings about there being a ban on single use (disposable) vapes.

For instance The Guardian ran with the headline – “Ministers set to ban single-use vapes in UK over child addiction fears“.

guardian uk disposable ban

The Guardian article is full of negative messages about disposable vapes in particular but is also slating vaping full stop. Here is an example…

“Scott Butler, the executive director at Material Focus, said last Friday that the “problem with single-use vapes has gotten further out of control” over the past year. “Single-use vapes are a strong contender for being the most environmentally wasteful, damaging and dangerous consumer product ever made,” he said.”

But I do agree on the waste issue – which we will be covering in another article in the future. I quote from the Guardian article…

“Last week, the Guardian revealed that 5 million single-use vapes are being thrown away in the UK every week, a fourfold increase on 2022. Research by the not-for-profit organisation Material Focus said this amounted to eight vapes a second being discarded, with the lithium in the products enough to create 5,000 electric car batteries a year.”

I am pleased to see a follow up article from the Guardian – “Ban on single-use vapes in UK may ‘flood market with illegal products’“.

guardian disposable ban implications

This is exactly what might happen, I can’t see people giving up disposables the second they are banned. There will be a lot of excess stock which has to be disposed of and is likely to end up on the “Black market“. Not to mention dodgy sellers who will then totally be off the radar selling unregulated devices. Which is very scary.

Another UK Newspaper – The Sun – led with “E-CIG CRACKDOWN Disposable vapes will be banned in England as early as next week in bid to stop children getting addicted

the sun disposable vape ban

Also The Times and Telegraph have reported on this – but sadly as they are Paywalled I cannot read to make a comment.

Is It True?

Upon closer examination there could be a consultation issued by the Department of Health and Social Care next week – but the timings are not firmly specified.

This does mean that the headlines do have a hint of “scaremongering about them.

UKVIA Response

The UKVIA (UK Vaping Industry Association) have published a Press Release which I will copy and paste below.

ukvia logo

Press Release

Statement from UK Vaping Industry Association re: reported government consultation on disposable vapes.

John Dunne, Director General of the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA), said:

“It’s important to point out that this is about a consultation and that no decisions have been made on the future of disposable vapes.

“We welcome the idea of a consultation on disposables as it’s key that the industry gets the opportunity to highlight the benefits, and therefore continued need, for single use vapes as a smoking cessation method.

“A ban is not the answer. Some 220 people die from smoking every day, 365 days a year. Disposables have proved to be highly effective in helping smokers quit their habits due to their ease of use, accessibility and low entry price points. They are one of the main reasons as to why the number of adult smokers in Great Britain have hit record lows for the last two years according to the Office for National Statistics.

“We’ve always acknowledged that the issues of youth vaping and environmental impact of vapes need to be tackled. However, it is clear that significantly increased enforcement is required against retailers who sell to minors, which is illegal – new research by Arcus Compliance this week will reveal that fines handed out to retailers for underage and illicit product sales amounted to just over £2,000 in 11 major provincial UK cities between 2021-23.

“The UKVIA has proposed to government on more than one occasion fines of up to £10,000 per instance for rogue retailers caught selling to U18s, as well as retail licensing and national test purchasing schemes.

“The association has also encouraged the government to adopt a set of Packaging, Labelling and Flavour Name guidelines it has created. These are designed to set clear standards for e-liquid, flavour names and flavour descriptors on sale in the UK market. The guidelines focus on limiting references to youth culture, removing imagery and descriptors which are considered to be child appealing.

“Finally, there is also overwhelming evidence that vape bans lead to black markets in the sale of such products and increased smoking rates, putting smokers and vapers at significantly more risk of harm across the world.

“The black market already exists in the UK and represents over 50% of the single use market and this would only accelerate with a ban.”

“As regards the environmental impact of vapes we are leading the way in bringing all stakeholders together in the vape waste chain to address the challenge posed by single use vapes. However, the biggest challenge is getting consumers to recycle their vapes and providing the waste disposal facilities in public places and at points of use that will enable higher recycling rates. Recent analysis by leading electrical waste management company, Waste Experts, highlighted that disposable vapes are highly recyclable.”

Institute Of Economic Affairs Response

The IEA (Institute of Economic Affairs) has also published a response.

Press Release

Commenting on reports that the government will propose banning disposable e-cigarettes, Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at the free market Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“A ban on disposable vapes will restrict the choices of millions of adult smokers who could benefit from switching to them.

“E-cigarettes are life saving products that can only legally be sold to people over the age of 18. We do not ban cider because some teenagers drink it. We do not ban 18 certificate films because some teenagers watch them. We don’t ban cigarettes because some teenagers smoke them.

“If these reports are true, the government has mistaken legislating for governing. The answer to underage vaping is to enforce the laws that already exist. There is no reason why children should be able to buy e-cigarettes more easily than they can buy vodka.”


IBVTA Response

The IBVTA (Independent British Vape Trade Association) have published a Press Release which I will quote below…

Press Release

IBVTA statement on calls to ban single use vapes

Independent British Vape Trade Association Chairman, Marcus Saxton, said: “The concerns about young people accessing vapes from retailers who break the law are valid. There is a suite of existing regulations that should be properly enforced with greater funding to those agencies, and it is difficult to envisage how a complete ban would be workable.

Alternative refillable and rechargeable products are available, and we need to see greater uptake of the recycling facilities available on every high street. But we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that for adults, single use vapes are important to the initial quit journey away from smoking due to their ease of use. The government have targets to be smoke free by 2030, and it’s difficult to see how banning a whole category supports that.”


What Next

Well there is nothing on the Department of Health and Social Care website at present. So it might be a case of “wait and see” as nothing concrete appears to be in place.

We will keep you updated!

Plus I will add any more responses from the vaping industry as they are published.

Related “X” Posts

As you can imagine there has been a lot of discussion on this topic – so I have picked a few to share with you below…

The post Is A UK Disposable Vape Ban On The Horizon? appeared first on Ecigclick.

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