2024 Government Legislations: The Impact on the Industry

Creating a smokefree generation and tackling youth vaping.

The UK Disposable Vape Ban: Impacts and Alternatives

What is the latest news on the disposable vape ban?

The government announced proposals recently to ban the sale of disposable vapes, accompanying the publication of draft regulations. These regulations are subject to a two-week consultation period ending on March 25, 2024. According to the proposed regulations, enforceable by Trading Standards Officers, it will be an offence for anyone in the course of business to supply a single-use vape. This includes individuals who offer to supply or possess single-use vapes with the intention to supply them.

What is the definition of a disposable device?

A single-use device that is not designed or intended to be reused. To be considered reusable, the vape must be both rechargeable and refillable. A refillable vape is designed to include either a single-use container that can be purchased separately and replaced or a container that can be refilled. A vape is not rechargeable if it contains a battery that can’t be charged, or if it has a coil that can’t be replaced by the user.

When will the ban take effect?

Current draft regulations for the disposable vape ban are set to be enforced on 1 April 2025, and currently applies to all devolved nations. This includes the 6 month transition period which is expected to commence on 1 October 2024.

What happens when the ban comes into effect?

Trading Standards Officers will have the authority to enter premises where they suspect single-use vapes are being sold. They may open and take samples away to determine this. Individuals may face an initial penalty of £200 for supplying single-use vapes. For repeated offences, a ‘stop’ notice can be issued, halting their business activity until compliance conditions are met. Guidance will be provided before the ban is introduced to support enforcement and assist businesses in complying with the regulations. These draft regulations remain open for comment until March 24, 2024. Final regulations are expected to be outlined in the summer of 2024.

What does the disposable ban mean for your store?

New consumer polling indicates that nearly a quarter (24%) of current disposable vape users plan to continue using them post-ban, resorting to illicit sources. However there are already multiple solutions on the market from the leading brands you know, both closed pod and open pod systems (and therefore not disposable) that deliver the same and in some cases better experiences than disposables.

If you’re interested in moving away from disposable vapes to get ahead of the ban, take a look at our article 'The Growing Popularity of Legal Big Puff Devices'. These Innovative devices are set to dominate the market due to their compliance with the new legislation and their long lifespan.

Tobacco and Vapes Bill 2024

The first reading of the Tobacco and Vapes Bill was tabled on 20th March.

Through primary legislation, the bill allows the government to make changes to vape products that they wish to make in the future, in areas such as store counter displays, packaging and ingredients of the vape. The Tobacco and Vapes Bill’s second reading is scheduled for the 16th of April. A consultation is due to follow, asking several questions on how best to formulate the changes in legislation, after which it will be debated in Parliament and finalised into legislation, likely in 2025.

Vaping products duty

The government intends to introduce a new duty on vaping products from 1 October 2026, with registrations for the duty opening from 1 April 2026. The proposed rates will be £1.00 per 10ml for nicotine-free liquids, £2.00 per 10ml on liquids that contain 0.1 - 10.9 mg nicotine per ml, and £3.00 per 10ml on liquids that contain 11mg or more per ml. As an example, a 20mg disposable with 2ml of e-liquid, would command a £0.60 duty rate. A 12-week consultation will be published on the policy design and technical details alongside the Spring Budget, which may well significantly change the above proposal, so for the medium term, it is business as usual for all concerned. The government will also introduce a one-off tobacco duty increase of £2.00 per 100 cigarettes or 50 grams of tobacco from 1 October 2026.

Recycling vapes

All vape retailers must now provide a disposal option for customers’ old vapes. Starting March 31st, 2024, retailers are required to offer a one-for-one vape recycling facility, accepting old vapes when customers purchase new ones. Retailers may provide an in-store bin for vape returns. They must also display information about their vape recycling service. Enforcement, managed by the Office for Product Safety and Standards, begins April 2024.