‘Bulk buying by the box’ predicted as disposable vapes to be banned

A shop in Cardiff said it expects more people to ‘stock up’ on disposable vapes after the UK Government announced it would be banning the products.

An announcement to ban the sale and supply of disposable vapes was made by the prime minister on Monday in an attempt to tackle the number of young people vaping and to “protect children’s health.”

Eve Thomas, an employee of The Rolling Box, told CJS News people will start buying them “by the box” to stock up ahead of the ban, which will be introduced this year.

The UK Government said that by banning the sale and supply of disposable vapes and strengthening the regulation of vape flavours, packaging and how they are displayed in shops, it would reduce underage sales and consumption.

Eve Thomas: “I have a big feeling that people will be buying them by the box.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “As any parent or teacher knows, one of the most worrying trends at the moment is the rise in vaping among children, and so we must act before it becomes endemic.”

Wales will follow the UK Government and also introduce the ban to tackle youth vaping.

In a statement, it said it would aim to:

  • Raise the age of sale of tobacco products by one year, every year 
  • Restrict vape flavours, regulate point of sale displays and vape packaging and product presentation
  • Restrict the supply and sale of disposable vapes due to environmental concerns
  • Strengthen enforcement of underage sales

Mx. Thomas said that whilst some people are bulk buying already, she expects “it’s just going to go to the extreme.”

According to statistics from the UK Government, the number of children using vapes has tripled in the last three years and there is “strong evidence to suggest that cheap and easy-to-use disposable vapes are partly to blame.”

In 2023, around 69 per cent of vapers aged 11 to 17 in Great Britain were using disposable vapes, up from 7.7 percent in 2021.

The UK Government said the trend was “extremely worrying given the unknown long-term health impacts and the addictive nature of the nicotine in vapes.”

UK Gov: “Strengthening the regulation of vape flavours, packaging and how they are displayed in shops, would reduce underage sales and consumption.”

A school pupil, who wanted to remain anonymous told CJS News, said: “This ban does not encourage me to stop. I’m 17, I’ve been vaping since year 10. It will only encourage a black market”.

Another said: “In schools you can’t just go in your uniform and buy a vape. People bulk buy and disperse them in schools like organised crime.”

One teacher at a school in Bristol told CJS News the ban would not necessarily stop all children vaping.

Megan Allen said: “At the moment, children aren’t allowed to buy vapes but they still get their hands on them, so would this just mean that they are less regulated?”

Whilst the UK Government’s plan is to have the ban in place by 2024, any legislation will allow for a ‘buffer period of at least six months’, to allow businesses to adapt.