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Is there going to be a ban? Government’s plans for disposables in 2024 and beyond

Is there going to be a ban? Government’s plans for disposables in 2024 and beyond

John Boughey |

Last fact-checked 28 November 2023 | Report a content error 

A lot of our customers are asking if there’s going to be a ban on disposables. In this article we’ll give you the legal status of disposable vapes right now, and we’ll explain where rumours of a ban have come from. We'll also make some predictions about what's going to happen in 2024 and beyond. 

Will there be a ban on disposables in the UK?

As it stands right now, disposable vapes are not banned in the UK. There are also no active proposals in Westminster for a ban. Recent UK news articles have suggested that a ban is just around the corner, but these stories were in response to a proposed law that didn't make it through parliament. 

In early 2023, Dr Caroline Johnson MP proposed the Disposable Electronic Cigarettes (Prohibition of Sale) Bill. If this bill had become law, it would have banned the sale of single-use vapes in the UK. The bill ‘fell’, meaning it didn’t go ahead, and there are no other bills calling for a ban. 

What’s so bad about disposable vapes?

While the lack of a ban is good news for disposables fans, it’s not necessarily good news for the nation. The proposed ban was a response to two very important problems that need to be urgently addressed. 

First, a growing number of children are describing themselves as e-cigarette smokers. According to a recent NHS survey, “around 1 in 5 (21%) 15-year old girls were [...] e-cigarette users” (source: This is a shocking statistic. The whole point of e-cigarettes is to help people break their addiction to nicotine — not to create more addicts. 

Second, disposable vapes are being discarded on our streets by the millions (source: This isn’t normal everyday litter — this is litter with lithium-ion batteries that could literally explode. 

As a country we desperately need a solution to both of these problems. 

The UK already has laws to prevent underage vaping and disposables waste. WEEE rules exist for the safe disposal of single-use vapes (see our recent article on disposing of disposables). It is also already illegal to sell e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18 in the UK. On paper, these problems shouldn’t exist. In reality, British children are still managing to get their hands on disposable vapes, so something needs to change.

Why aren’t disposable vapes banned?

A full transcript of Dr Johnson’s speech is available on the Parliament website. In her speech, Dr Johnson made a good case for banning disposables completely. Her view is that disposable vapes appeal to children, and not just ex-smokers, because disposables are…

  1. ...often designed in bright, attractive colours, 
  2. available in flavours like bubble gum, cotton candy and strawberry ice cream, 
  3. easy to hide from parents and teachers, both because of their disposability and price point. 

Dr Johnson argues that an outright ban would make it much harder for children to obtain these single-use vapes. It could protect kids from the risk of nicotine addiction and reduce the amount of e-cigarette waste on our streets. 

The ban proposed by Dr Caroline Johnson MP might have worked, but her bill will never become law. This is all because of the way that Westminster works.

In the UK, bills (draft laws) don’t become acts (laws) automatically. Both houses in Westminster (the House of Commons and the House of Lords) have to vote a bill through for Royal Assent (sign-off by King Charles III). This process can take years, and many bills — including Dr Johnson’s — ‘fall’ before becoming law (learn more about how laws are made on 

Vaping laws that never happened: A decade of fallen bills

MPs have proposed a number of vaping bills over the past decade. Very few bills of any kind - not just vaping bills - ever successfully progress through Parliament.  Proposed laws on vaping over the past decade include:

One day, we might get a law banning disposables in the UK, but it won’t be the one that Dr Johnson put forward. There is a public consultation on vaping happening right now (see The government might change the rules based on the results of that consultation. Either way, it’s very unlikely that we’ll see a ban in the near future. 

Alternatives to a ban: what else can be done?

Kids need to be protected from nicotine addiction, but there is no ban on the cards in the UK today. So what else can be done to keep children safe and manage the risks of disposables?

We could copy New Zealand

One country that has adopted a different approach to an outright ban is New Zealand. In New Zealand, a new law controls what single-use vaping products can be sold. Disposables need to have removable batteries, child safety mechanisms and must meet certain limits on nicotine levels and labelling. 

The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Amendment Regulations 2023 came into force this year. It has the potential to tackle many of the problems outlined by Dr Johnson without completely banning disposables. The New Zealand government is considering a change to this law (source: BBC News), so we’ll have to watch this space.

You should report illegal vape sales

Right now, it is illegal for a child to buy a vape of any kind. If you see a child being sold a vape, you should report the retailer to Trading Standards for investigation. 

It’s a simple process — you’ll find instructions on how to do it on the Citizens Advice website

You should buy from reputable vape retailers

Any legitimate vape shop will have systems in place to prevent the sale of e-cigarettes to children. For instance, here at Gourmet E-Liquid, our website has a built-in age verification system. There are also vape disposal bins in every major brick-and-mortar vape shop in the UK. 

Consider switching to pods or refillables

Refillable pod systems and box mods can be just as convenient as disposables — it just takes a little planning. Reusable systems are often made from better-quality components than single-use vapes. They tend to have better battery life and offer much more control over your vaping experience. You can pick your flavours and nicotine strength, and it costs you less in the long run. 


I hope this article sheds some light on the current situation with disposable vapes. Disposables are still a very new phenomenon — they were almost unheard of a few years ago — so the laws might change in future. For now, as long as you’re an adult, you’re welcome to continue buying single-use vapes. Just remember to dispose of them correctly.

Remember: e-cigarettes should only be sold to adults. Vapes are for ex-smokers and smokers who are trying to quit. If you have never smoked, you should not vape. 

Stay safe and happy vaping!

John Boughey

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