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Will The UK Government Ban Disposables: A Balanced Argument

by Jax Robertson - 9 minute read - September 15, 2023 -

As a passionate vaper myself, I’m all about that sweet vape life, especially here in the UK. Lately, though, there’s been some buzz about the UK government putting a ban on disposables. Can you believe it? To be honest, I can. We thought it was about time to either confirm or dispel some myths about this trending news and today, we’re taking a deeper dive into this hot topic to discuss the big question on everyone’s minds: “Will the UK government ban disposables?” So, grab your favourite Elf Bar, sit back, and let’s explore this together.

Disposable Devices

The Rise Of Disposables.

Those nifty little disposables have been popping up everywhere, and I’ll be the first to admit; they are incredibly convenient! Their discreet nature, ease of use, and portability make them a go-to choice for vapers. However, the true value of these disposables goes beyond convenience. They’ve played a pivotal role in helping 2-3 million former smokers make the transition away from traditional combustible cigarettes, emerging as one of the most effective methods for quitting smoking. But, as we all know, convenience sometimes comes at a cost.

The Positive Impact.

Amidst the discussions about potential bans on disposable vapes, it’s essential to acknowledge the significant impact these devices have had in the world of vaping. Every day, over 200 lives are tragically lost to smoking-related illnesses in the UK. Disposable vapes have emerged as a crucial ally in the battle against traditional cigarettes. Their convenience and simplicity have helped countless smokers transition away from harmful tobacco products. For many, the “pick up and go” nature of disposable vapes has been a lifeline, providing a straightforward and accessible way to make the switch from smoking to vaping, ultimately leading to improved health outcomes.

Man vaping his lost mary

The Negative Impact.

While disposable vapes have undeniably played a significant role in helping smokers quit, there’s a growing stigma surrounding their environmental impact. Shockingly, over five million of these disposable devices end up in landfills every week, contributing to the already pressing issue of electronic waste. Unlike reusable alternatives, disposable vapes often lack proper recycling options, making them a strain on our planet.

Another concerning aspect is the exposure of these devices to teenagers and underage individuals. The poor regulation of disposable vapes and their widespread availability have created a serious problem, of epidemic proportions. It’s crucial to address these issues responsibly and find ways to strike a balance between the benefits of disposables and the environmental and social concerns they raise.

No Smoking - No Vaping sign.

What Can Be Done To Limit The Growing Issues?

First and foremost, stricter regulations should be implemented to deter the sale of these products to underage individuals. For example, increasing fines, ranging from £10,000 to £25,000, for shops found guilty of selling vape products to minors. Such stringent penalties would send a clear message to retailers about the gravity of this issue and serve as a powerful deterrent.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to establish a comprehensive scheme that requires all retailers to register and become part of a governing body before they can sell disposable vaping products. This scheme would ensure that retailers adhere to strict guidelines and maintain a commitment to responsible sales practices. By doing so, we can create a system that fosters accountability among sellers, significantly reducing the likelihood of these products ending up in the hands of minors.

Another vital aspect that demands attention is the naming conventions used on vape packaging and products. To reduce their appeal to children and adolescents, there should be a concerted effort to shift away from whimsical and child-focused names such as ‘Cotton Candy.’ Instead, adopting more factual and mature naming conventions like ‘Banana Ice’ can contribute to a safer vaping culture.

Manufacturers should also play their part in making disposable vape products more environmentally friendly. Introducing design elements that allow these devices to break down easily for recycling, reducing the environmental footprint associated with disposables.

By implementing a combination of these measures, including stricter regulations, increased fines, retailer registrations, and responsible naming conventions, we can work towards a safer and more sustainable culture. These efforts could help to mitigate the issues associated with disposables while preserving their vital role in harm reduction and smoking cessation efforts.

The Government’s Stance On Vaping.

Alright, so here’s where things get a bit serious. The UK government has had its eyes on the vaping industry for a while now, and it all began with the introduction of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) back in 2016. This directive marked a significant turning point in the regulation of e-cigarettes and vaping products. Wondering what the TPD is all about? Let me break it down for you.

The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) is a set of rules and regulations established by the European Union (EU) to standardise and control the manufacturing and marketing of tobacco products and related items, including e-cigarettes and e-liquids. In simple terms, it’s like a code of conduct specifically designed to oversee everything vape-related.

But here’s the thing: the NHS (National Health Service) and various health bodies remain positive about vaping and its potential to help smokers transition away from traditional cigarettes. In fact, it’s widely considered to be the most effective way to quit smoking, ranking higher than a combination of patches and gum. Many experts believe that vaping is a less harmful alternative to smoking and can be a useful tool in harm reduction. Public Health England has openly supported vaping as a safer option for smokers trying to quit.

So, as we navigate through the potential disposables ban, let’s remember that while regulations are in place to protect us, vaping still holds promise as a tool to help smokers quit. It’s all about striking a balance between enjoying our culture responsibly and being mindful of our health and the environment.

Thank you NHS Banner.

Recent Developments And Speculations.

In a significant turn of events, the issue of disposables has taken centre stage in recent news. Earlier this week, calls from councils, leading paediatricians and public waste campaigners are encouraging the UK government to address this matter urgently. This development has catapulted discussions about a potential disposables ban from the realm of mere whispers to a pressing concern that demands our immediate attention.

The Impact On Vapers.

Let’s talk about us – the vapers. If the ban goes through, it could mean less variety in vape devices and flavours. Imagine walking into your favourite vape shop, and your go-to disposable is nowhere in sight. That’s a sad thought, isn’t it? And what about vapers who’ve successfully quit smoking with disposables? They might have to go through the struggle of finding alternatives that work for them.

What We Think: Developing A Better Solution.

Here’s our perspective on a potential solution to the pending ban, that would mean we could continue to enjoy the convenience of disposables.

Currently, UK regulations limit tank size and liquid capacity to a maximum of 2ml in any one device. However, recent news highlighting the staggering figure of over five million disposable devices ending up in landfills each week suggests that there’s room for improvement.

Imagine this scenario: What if the capacity of these devices were increased from 2ml to 10ml, and they were designed to be rechargeable? Under this revised approach, it’s easy to suggest a significant reduction in the number of these devices entering landfills. In fact, the number could potentially drop from over five million to just one million per week!

While this solution may not be perfect, it certainly represents a significant step in the right direction. It addresses both the environmental concerns associated with disposable vapes and the convenience that vapers value. By embracing such innovations, we can make a substantial contribution to mitigating the growing problem of electronic waste.

Preparing For The Future.

As the saying goes, knowledge is power! Keep an eye on the latest news and updates about the disposables ban. The more informed we are, the better we can adapt to whatever changes come our way. But here’s an additional thought – part of being prepared for a potential future ban could be embracing the introduction of different vaping devices.

Now, before you panic, hear me out! One excellent alternative to disposables could be pod kits. These little gems have been gaining popularity for good reason. They come equipped with larger capacity batteries and refillable pods, offering a similar level of convenience to disposables but with added benefits.

Think about it: with pod kits, you get to enjoy the convenience of a compact device while having the freedom to refill your pods with your favourite e-liquid flavours. No more being limited to the pre-filled flavours that disposables offer. We’re talking about a whole world of options just waiting for you to explore!

Not only do pod kits provide more variety, but they can also save you money in the long run. How’s that possible? Well, with disposables, you have to keep buying new devices every time you run out of juice. But with pod kits, you only need to invest in the kit once and then refill the pods as needed. Fewer purchases, more savings – it’s a win-win situation!

Elf Bar being vaped


It’s fairly safe to say that the countdown has well and truly begun. The possibility of a UK government disposables ban is a hot topic and looking highly likely. But remember, knowledge and unity are our strongest weapons. Let’s stay informed, speak up, and be responsible.

So, while we keep our ears to the ground about the potential ban on disposables, let’s also keep an open mind about trying out different vaping devices like pod kits. Embracing these alternatives could be a proactive step towards ensuring our vaping journey remains enjoyable, sustainable, and kinder to the environment.

And hey, let’s not be passive observers in the whole conversation. Our voices matter, and we can actively engage in discussions about vaping regulations. By sharing our positive experiences with pod kits and other refillable devices, we can let our government know that vaping is more than just a trend; it’s a community of responsible vapers who care about making informed choices.

Stay informed, be prepared for whatever comes our way, and consider making the switch to pod kits. Together, we can navigate through any potential bans while continuing to enjoy our vape journey responsibly. Vape on, explore those flavours, and let’s make a positive impact on our vaping world!

Author Avatar
Jax Robertson
Vape Expert