Are Disposable Vapes Getting Banned In the UK?

Are Disposable Vapes Getting Banned In the UK?

There is no doubt that disposable vapes are popular. There’s no denying that they can be effective for people trying to quit smoking. But there have been calls for a disposable vape ban. There has been discussion for banning vapes which we’ve taken a further look at. See what is under consideration as part of a UK vape ban below. As an example, it would see Lost Marys banned in the UK, along with other popular brands.

We’ve gathered all information available to give you both sides of the discussion. 

What Are the Vape Laws in the UK?

The industry follows the TPD (Tobacco Products Directive). The UK vaping laws were first brought in May 2017. The main vape laws are:

  • E Liquid bottles can be no larger than 10ml (if they contain nicotine).
  • Tanks and pods can be no larger than 2ml.
  • The highest nicotine strength is 20 mg.
  • All hardware and E Liquids must go through a submission process with the MHRA. 

Why Is There A Vaping Crackdown?

One of the main reasons for the crackdown is illegal vape sales. Not only are non-legal products sold, but products are being sold to children. Similar to tobacco sales, vaping is prohibited to under 18’s. The number of children vaping is increasing. The government are stepping in to help solve this issue.

A vape store is required to verify a customers age before a sale. Some retailers have not being doing this. Children having access to vapes was behind the call to ban disposable vapes. 

There is a huge environmental impact. According to a study completed by Media Focus, disposal of these devices is a massive problem.

Around 14 million single use vape devices get sold in the UK each month. 17% of these devices get recycled. The problem is the 73% that get thrown in the bin, or disposed of on the streets. This is the equivalent of batteries for 1,200 electric vehicles each year. This is one of the reasons a disposable vape ban is under discussion. 

Is There Going To Be A Disposable Vape Ban In The UK?

The government is looking at several options. One of these options is to ban disposable vapes outright. Due to underage vape sales, there is discussion on how vape products get displayed. 

Vape products are (at the moment) available in convenience shops. These are visited by children for snacks and drinks. Specialist vape retailers have age restrictions on who can enter. This means they are less likely to have children visit the store. By removing disposable vapes, it is believed that underage sales will decrease. This would see Elf Bars banned. 

What Is The UK Smoking Ban?

Smoking bans are under discussion. While no outright ban is under consideration, there are other options. Currently, people aged 18 can purchase cigarettes. By increasing the legal age, products would be limited to those who are currently 18 or older. 

According to a survey by ONS, 12.9% of people in the UK smoke. This smoking ban would see around 100,000 people restricted from smoking.  

The information shows this would only apply to tobacco products. Vaping would be limited to those 18 and over. 

What Vapes Are Illegal In The UK?

Any nicotine product that has not gone through the TPD process is illegal. There are several products on the market that do not comply with the TPD rules. Some examples of these products are:

  • Large capacity disposable vapes, such as 3500 puff Elf Bars. These are over 2ml in capacity and would not be legal to sell.
  • 50 mg disposable vapes are above the 20 mg limit, so would be illegal vapes.

Purchasing these products harms legitimate businesses. It promotes further sales of these vapes banned in the UK. Evidence suggests the businesses selling illegal vapes are also selling to minors. By increasing enforcement, fewer children would be able to make a purchase. 

Is Vaping Illegal In The UK?

Vaping is not illegal in the UK. Once a nicotine product has undergone submission, it is legal. There are thousands of legal vape devices available. By ensuring a shop is selling legal products, you can support the vape industry. This helps to remove the bad actors from the industry and those selling illegal products. There are no plans for a vaping ban, only removing disposable vapes from the market. 

It is possible to submit your comments on the disposable vapes ban. The consultation is available at and is open until 7th December. Once complete, the government will then look at the next steps. We don’t believe any new regulations would come into force until 2024. This would include a sell through period for existing products. 

Are Pre-Filled Pods Banned?

We do not know what the plans are for pre-filled pods. The discussion is around disposable vapes at this time. Some pre-filled vapes, such as the Elf Bar Mate P1, offer refillable pods. This would put them out of scope for the new legislation, should it pass. 

What Are My Options If There Is A Disposable Vape Ban?

While a disposable vape ban UK would limit your choice, there are options. 

We recommend taking a look at pod vape kits and Bar Salt flavours. These are designed to mimic disposable vape flavours and save you money. Based on standard consumption, you could save over £1500 per year.

A disposable alternative kit would be the Geekvape Sonder Q kit. This device has no buttons and is inhale activated. When your pod is empty, refill using your nic salts. Once the pod is showing signs of burning out, swap to a replacement pod. A device like this is more environmentally friendly. The only waste produced is a single recyclable plastic pod every 1-2 weeks. Devices like this would not be removed under the disposable vape ban. They are fully rechargeable and refillable, which would be out of scope. 

What Should I Do If I Find A Shop Selling Illegal Vapes?

If you find a shop selling illegal disposables (or selling to minors), there are steps to follow. We would recommend reporting the store to your local trading standards. This would reduce the harm on the industry, and potential underage sales.

If disposable vapes were sold and recycled responsibly, there is a chance this restriction may not have happened. We need to ensure that vaping is remains available. We can have a less harmful smoking alternative to future generations.

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