Government announces ban on disposable vapes in UK to ‘protect children’s health’

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says he wants to "leave a lasting legacy for the long term".

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 29th January 2024

Disposable vapes are to be banned across the UK as the Government looks to tackle the rise in youth vaping and “protect children’s health”.

It’s long been a topic of conversation, and one that many activists have been calling for – as well as a group of Greater Manchester councillors back in August of last year too – but now, the Government is finally appearing to take action and address the rising problem of youth vaping head-on by announcing a nationwide ban on disposable e-cigarettes.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is set to formally announce the UK-wide ban today (29 January) during a visit to a school.  

The ban on disposable vapes comes as part of the Government’s wider “ambitious plans”, and is said to be a response to its recent consultation on smoking and vaping – which was launched back in October last year.  

According to the Government, recent figures show that the number of children using vapes in the past three years has tripled, and use among younger children is also rising, in particular – with 9% of 11 to 15-year-olds now using vapes.


Disposable vapes have been “a key driver” behind the “alarming rise” in youth vaping, Government ministers say, as studies show that the proportion of 11 to 17-year-old vapers using disposables has increased almost ninefold in the last two years.    

As part of the Government’s plans, new powers will be introduced to restrict e-cigarette flavours that are specifically-marketed at children, and ensure that manufacturers produce plainer and less-visually-appealing packaging, while also allowing the Government to change how vapes are displayed in shops by both moving them out of childrens’ sight, and away from other products that are made to appeal to them – such as sweets, fizzy drinks, and so on.


To crack down on underage sales, the Government has also announced it will bring in new fines for shops in England and Wales that sell vapes illegally to children, and give trading standards officers the power to act ‘on the spot’ to tackle underage tobacco and vape sales.

Vaping alternatives such as nicotine pouches will also be outlawed for children under the new plans, as it’s thought youths are now “increasingly turning” to these “highly addictive substitutes” instead. 

“As any parent or teacher knows, one of the most worrying trends at the moment is the rise in vaping among children,” commented Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as he announced the ban on disposable vapes in the UK today.


“And so we must act before it becomes endemic. 

“The long-term impacts of vaping are unknown and the nicotine within them can be highly addictive, so while vaping can be a useful tool to help smokers quit, marketing vapes to children is not acceptable.

“As Prime Minister, I have an obligation to do what I think is the right thing for our country in the long term, and that is why I am taking bold action to ban disposable vapes, and bring forward new powers to restrict vape flavours, introduce plain packaging, and change how vapes are displayed in shops. “

Mr Sunak says these he wants these new changes to “leave a lasting legacy” by protecting children’s health “for the long term”.

As well as all these new plans announced today in an attempt to tackle the rise in youth vaping, the Government has also, once again, reiterated its commitment to bring about the first ‘smokefree generation’ in the UK, and has said it is keen to eventually introduce legislation that means children turning fifteen this year, or younger, can never legally be sold tobacco.


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The eight new proposed measures to create a ‘smokefree generation’ were announced the Prime Minister at the Conservative Party Conference last October.

Featured Image – ELFBAR