UK to BAN Disposable Vapes
Huge news has been making waves within the UK as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced plans to help tackle the child and teen vaping epidemic that we have sadly seen rise in recent years in correlation to the growing popularity of disposable vape pens.
What are disposable vapes?
Disposable vapes are singular-use electronic cigarette devices that deliver nicotine in the form of vapour with the aim of replicating the sensation of smoking a traditional cigarette. These devices gained popularity due to their convenient nature and accessibility, allowing adult smokers to test the waters with a vaping device before committing to a fully reusable vape kit. Whilst these devices started out with honest intentions to help the masses put down tobacco products for good, there have been horrifying outcomes to the disposable vape era that will shock you.
Singular-use disposable vapes have become increasingly prominent within today’s society, with almost every corner shop, news agent, and supermarket offering a selection of brightly coloured and tantalisingly tasty sounding flavour options – almost all of which contain the highest nicotine strength legally available within the UK: 2% (20mg/ml).
The proposed ban on disposable vape pens has been very carefully thought through, with UK ministers drafting legislation that will also include the ban of rechargeable disposables and similar singular-use vaping products to prevent possible loopholes.
Who are using disposable vapes and why?
Whilst these disposable vape pens were originally designed with the intention of helping adults trial a vaping device with a view to quit smoking traditional cigarettes, we are seeing devastating statistics that show the number of children using vapes in the past 3 years has tripled. The Goverment found that approximately 9% of 11-15 year old children are now using vapes, which when compared to statistical data collected during the 2021 Census, would mean that roughly 125,000 children within the United Kingdom have been using some sort of vaping device.
Due to the unlawful practices of pop-up shops and corner shops, many children are able to walk into one of these stores in school uniform and purchase a highly addictive disposable vape without presenting any proof of age. Legitimate and dedicated vaping stores are incredibly stict with their ID policies, often following the Challenge 25 guidance to ensure that no persons under the age of 18 have access to age restricted products. Whilst the use of an e-cigarette has helped many adults within the UK to quit smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes with huge support from our National Health Service, these products are not completely risk-free, and should only be used by adults substituting carcinogenic tobacco products with a vaping device. Studies are showing that children, teenagers, and adults that have never smoked a cigarette before are taking up vaping through these incredibly easy and convenient disposable vapes, meaning many non-smokers are becoming addicted to nicotine when they may not have ever smoked a traditional cigarette. A recent survey by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) found smoking figures amongst children and teenagers had gone down due to the uptake in disposable vape usage despite all these products being age restricted to 18+ adults.
At The London Vape Company, we have strived to introduce adults to reusable refillable/prefilled rechargeable vaping devices to help reduce the impact disposable vaping is having on our environment.
Previously, statistics revealed that 3.8 million disposable vapes were being thrown into general waste instead of being recycled within the UK, which has recently been updated to reflect that the estimated figure is now 5 million disposable vapes per week. Each one of these disposable vapes contains a lithium-ion battery, a rare resource our society has become dependent on as technology advances to make our lives better. Despite disposable vapes being recyclable, we are seeing millions end up in our landfills rather than recycling centers.
Smaller organisations such as Glastonbury Festival made the choice to ban disposable vaping devices from their events to protect the local environment of the farm they host at every year, which was a hugely successful decision that not only helped keep the land clean, it also helped to reduce the amount of illicit vaping devices taken into the event.
Fears of counterfeit and illicit disposable vapes:
Due to the popularity of singular use throw-away vape pens and the demand for disposables that last longer, devices containing more E-Liquid, nicotine, and puffs than are legally allowed within the UK are popping up in places underneath counters to be sold to unsuspecting people unaware that these devices they are being sold are not genuine products.
Bootleg versions replicating big brands like Elux Legend Bars and Crystal Max Bars are becoming more and more common, with some shops taking the risk of fines and penalties to make an extra buck.
The sad reality of these fake products became more apparent when taken away for specialist laboratory testing.
During the initial stages of testing, the lab technicians found dangerous metals like lead, and assumed that these had been implemented within production of the coil to lower costs. Disturbingly, when examining the E-Liquid within these fake and illegal single-use vapes, it was revealed that the lead content was within the actual vape juice itself as well as part of the coil design. Lead has been banned from a lot of products over the years due to its unsafe nature, with high exposure levels linked to illnesses ranging from cardiovascular disease to nervous system malfunction. The laboratory co-founder David Lawson has been examining vaping devices for a very long time, ensuring that products within the UK market meet health and safety criteria, adding that “in fifteen years of testing, I have never seen lead in a device”, which draws further attention to just how unsafe these products are. Neurotoxic substances like lead have been proven to impair brain development, compromise the nervous system functionality, as well as the ability to trigger blood clots and cardiovascular disease. Other metals discovered within the E-Liquid inside fake and illegal throw-away vape pens included nickel and chromium, at concerning levels that were much higher than what is considered a “safe” exposure level. Research over the years has shown that exposure to or consumption of nickel can harm multiple organs such as the lungs, stomach, and kidneys. Some studies have also shown that exposure to nickel can also advance or cause cancer. Chromium also contributes to problems when inhaled on a regular basis, such as lung and sinus cancers.
Twelve micrograms per gram of lead on average was discovered, which is much higher than what is considered to be a safer exposure level. Nickel and chromium were also discovered within the E-Liquid, at insanely high levels, with the average nickel content being up to 9.6 times the safe level, and the average chromium content being up to 6.6 times the safe level. In addition to these metals found within the E-Liquid of illegal disposables, the lab tests found carcinogenic chemicals up to 10 times the level found in some cigarettes, such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde.
What are the alternatives to disposable vape pens?
Adults with a sweet tooth will be delighted to hear that we stock a wide array of various E-Liquid flavours such as Lemon Drizzle Cake, Gummy Bear, and many more flavours that ex-smokers have acclimatised to whilst making the swap from traditional cigarettes to vaping. Whilst many have claimed that these dessert and sweetshop style flavours have been attracting children towards vaping, we argue that with the correct regulation and legislation we can keep the flavours that adults enjoy without attracting children towards vaping products. Strict ID checks to ensure a person is of age as well as keeping highly addictive substances out of the eyes and reach of children and teens are the best ways of ensuring that a person under the age of 18 is attempting to purchase an age restricted product. Even online, The London Vape Company is dedicated to ensure that the products we sell through our website do not get into the hands of any persons under the rightful age to purchase vaping products, using an Age Verification System to ensure that each online order is being sent to someone able to provide proof of age.
As part of our campaign to help ex-smokers save more money as well as saving our planet, we introduced a series of special bundle deals designed to ease new vapers into reusable and away from disposables with newer reuseable vape kits that do not require as much maintenance as some older kits on the market. The average disposable vape contains 2ml of 2% (20mg/ml) Nic Salt E-Liquid and costs £4.99, whereas a singular 10ml bottle of Nic Salt E-Liquid at 2% (20mg/ml) starts at £4.00 each with multibuy deals available, saving you an absolute fortune in the long-term.
We believe the UK Government are making the correct choice to finally ban the sale and production of disposable vape pens throughout the United Kingdom, not only to help protect the next generation from a lifelong nicotine addition, but to help protect adults trying to quit smoking traditional cigarettes in the safest way possible through TPD Compliant legitimate vaping products sold by authorised retailers.