The government announced on Monday that a disposable vape ban would be coming into place to protect the health of children. Vapes and vaping have been a massive topic of conversation over the past few years as many highlight the variety of risks involved and the unknown effect on long term health.
Here, we’ll unpack the disposable vape ban information and answer common questions that arise from the announcement.
Disposable vape ban at a glance:
- The sale and supply of disposable vapes is being banned in England, Scotland, and Wales
- The ban will come into place as soon as possible
- There was wide support for the disposable vape ban in a consultation
- Anyone over the age of 18 will still be able to buy remaining, non-disposable vape and tobacco products
- The government also details plans to bring forward legislation that will change the age of sale for all tobacco products, cigarette papers, and herbal smoking products
- The new legislation is anticipated to restrict the flavours that are produced by vape manufacturers and stipulate that they must use plainer, less visually appealing packaging.
- It will also allow governments to control where vapes are displayed in shops – away from items that appeal to children, like sweets, and keep them out of sight.
- Vape alternatives such as nicotine pouches, will also be made illegal for children to purchase.
When are disposable vapes being banned?
The government announced their intention to introduce the disposable vape ban on the 29th of January 2024 and advised that they would be aiming to bring legislation in as soon as possible.
Legislation can take varying amounts of time to go through all the correct channels so the changes won’t be put in place straight away – and the government have highlighted that any legislation will allow for businesses to adapt with a buffer period of at least 6 months.
What does the disposable vape ban actually mean?
The sale and supply of disposable vapes is being banned.
So you will no longer be able to buy disposable vapes in England, Scotland and Wales.
The government have advised that Northern Ireland will also consider implementing the ban in future.
Non-disposable vapes, like refillable vape pens, will still be available for adults to buy – intended for those who need them as a quitting smoking aid.
Why are disposable vapes being banned?
The government announced plans to create a smoke-free generation and closed consultation on the plans last year – results available here.
They found that there was wide support for the disposable vape ban. 70% of those that responded, including teachers, parents, and healthcare professionals, supported the measure.
The number of children using vapes in the past 3 years has tripled. The nicotine content and unknown long-term health risks of vaping mean that it carries a multitude of risks for children.
Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) charity published figures that suggest that 7.6% of 11 to 17-year-olds now vape regularly or occasionally, up from 4.1% in 2020.
The ban will also reduce the environmental and economic impact of vapes.
With 5m disposable vapes thrown away each week, up from 1.3m last year, there has been an increase in waste centre fires and devices improperly disposed of.
Can young people still buy vapes or tobacco products?
Anyone over the age of 18 will still be able to buy remaining, non-disposable vape and tobacco products.
Some think that these measures won’t go far enough. With some calls to follow Australia’s lead and make vapes only available with a prescription.
As part of the smoke-free generation consultation statement, the government also details plans to bring forward legislation that will change the age of sale for all tobacco products, cigarette papers, and herbal smoking products. As part of this, anyone born on or after 1st January 2009 will never legally be sold tobacco products.
What will change for the remaining vape products after the ban?
The new legislation is anticipated to restrict the flavours that are produced by vape manufacturers. Also stipulating that they must use plainer, less visually appealing packaging.
It will also allow governments to control where vapes are displayed in shops. This is expected to be away from items that appeal to children, like sweets, and out of sight.
Vape alternatives such as nicotine pouches, will also be made illegal for children to purchase.
Will adults still be able to buy vapes for help quitting smoking?
Yes, adults will still be able to buy vapes. The government have acknowledged that people often use them as an aid when trying to quit smoking.
However, they will no longer be able to buy disposable vapes, only the remaining types.
What is the vape companies’ response to the disposable vape ban?
It is reported that one of the largest vape manufacturers in the country, Elf Bar, said it supported the government’s aim to stop children using vapes but ‘expressed disappointment with the outright ban’.
The UK division of the British American Tobacco company also remarked that ‘increased controls on importation, appeal, and access would more effectively reduce under-age use’.
How will the disposable vape ban affect businesses?
The government will also bring in new fines for shops in England and Wales which sell vapes to children.
‘On the spot’ actions will be available for trading standards officers to issue to those not abiding by the rules.
There has been guidance that at least a 6-month buffer period will be allowed in the legislation. This enables businesses to adapt to the new rules.
The preceding information has been collated from a variety of trusted sources which are listed below. The content was correct at the time of writing and is not intended to be taken as fact. We have collated the information for informative and educational purposes.
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