Are more regulations on disposable vapes required?
The vape industry has always had a lot of eyes on regulations for disposable vapes for various reasons, ever since popularity started increasing with more smokers than ever opting to vape after they have quit smoking. Recent statistics showed that a staggering 3.3 million people in the UK are vapers, just under 5% of the entire population!
Vaping has had a lot of negative press in the past, but most recently it has come back under heavy fire due to the latest trend; Disposable vapes.
These all in one (AIO) disposable units were designed to be a convenient way to vape, but instead has attracted a large underage consumer base, unwanted press & social media attention and production of counterfeit disposable vapes is sky high causing serious health implications to unsuspecting consumers. And they are becoming more frequently under the careful watch of trading standards.
More regulations are needed to crack down on this unexpected surge surrounding disposable vapes and we will discuss what we think could and needs to be done on the matter.
Getting more value for money, but illegally?
As of 2016, The Tobacco Products Directive was introduced by the UK Government to control the import and sale of Tobacco related products, mainly affecting the vaping market.
Any e-liquid which contains nicotine can not be sold in bottles larger than 10ml, all vape tanks should not have a capacity larger than 2ml and the highest strength nicotine in vape liquid available is 20mg.
A traditional disposable vape normally contains 1.3ml of e liquid pre filled within the device, and comes in either a 10mg or 20mg nicotine strength.
Unfortunately, unreputable retailers are pushing illegal disposable vapes onto the UK Market, advertising them as “great value for money”
These disposable vapes normally contain more than 2ml of e liquid, and the nicotine strength is higher than 20mg, normally 30-50mg in strength making them illegal to be sold in the UK.
Buying your vape gear from unreputable sellers leaves you prone to also buying counterfeit products that have not had to pass TPD laws and are likely unsafe to use. Using these products could lead to serious health implications like nausea, headaches, dizziness, and lethargy.
Trading Standards clamp down
As you may have seen in the news of late, Trading Standards have started getting more heavily involved with the stopping and seizing of counterfeit disposable vapes from being on sale.
In Hyndburn, which is in the Lancashire area of the country, Trading Standards teams visited 14 different shops, and found 9 of them were selling counterfeit products, and trading standards officers seized more than 600 illegal disposable vapes! And this was from just one area within the UK.
Stocking and selling these counterfeit products come with a pretty hefty fine, with that being a maximum of £5000 in fines and/or a 12 month prison sentence.
These manufacturers of the counterfeit products are using the names of popular brands like Elf Bar or Geek bar to promote their illicit products, to which the actual manufacturers are now working alongside Trading Standards to try and stamp out the selling of these products.
We at Vape69 want to take this time to encourage everyone to only buy their vaping products from reputable specialist vape shops, either online or in the high street.
Disposable Vapes and Young people
Vaping has always been appealing to younger people, especially under age users as it’s deemed the “cool” thing to do.
The factor of peer pressure is quite high, with many people wanting to vape because their friends do, or friends encouraging others to try vaping. And with the introduction of disposable vapes on to the market, the volume of this has only increased and is continuing to do so.
In a recent survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) it shows that current vaping amongst children aged between 11-17 years old has increased from 4% reported in 2020, to 7% as of July 2022. The number of children who have admitted to even trying a vape has increased from 14% to 16%
Statistics show that the majority of these under age users hadn’t even tried tobacco products before vaping, and are ending up with a nicotine dependency from an early age.
Disposable cigarettes are now the most used product amongst under age users and the numbers of how this has increased is astronomical. In 2020 it was reported that 7% of under age users use disposable vapes, in 2021 this rose to 8%, but in 2022, its shot up to an eye watering 52% of all under age vapers use disposable vapes, primarily Elf Bar or Geek Bar disposables. This is the first time that national figures have been revealed to show such a drastic increase, and this to me shows that it’s time that something needs to be done to curb this number from increasing any more.
TikTok not ticking the right boxes
There’s no denying that TikTok is the most used social media platform amongst young people, being used by half of 8-11 year olds in the UK and three-quarters of 16-17 year olds and influencers are doing what they are paid to do, influencing their followers by using certain brands, and products within their videos.
Whilst not just specifically promoting vape products, some influencers with large followings have been seen using some form of disposable vapes within their videos. And now, one of the largest manufacturers of disposable vapes have come under scrutiny for flouting UK advertising rules surrounding vaping.
Elf Bar have heavily weighed in with a presence on the social media platform by “gifting” their products to influencers to use in their videos and essentially advertise an age restricted product to their audiences who are aged anywhere from 8-80 years old. This is deemed a push to even further their sales and presence in the UK, but by using backdoor tactics to exploit the rules on advertising within social media.
The less appealing…the better!
Another bad trait of disposable vapes is the aesthetically pleasing and colourful designs that manufacturers use for the casings of their disposable vapes.
Disposable vapes always have bright and vibrant colours on them, and some manufacturers are even now including arty style designs on the them in an attempt to make them even more appealing.
The flavours that come in these disposables are also designed to make it sound as mouth-watering and tantalising as possible. Flavours like cotton candy ice, blue raspberry slushie, and drumstix sound pretty appealing right? Especially if you were a younger person…
Is it time for a crackdown on these factors? A controllable that can be controlled by the right people. Would a plain black disposable vape with a simple straight menthol flavour sell as much as one of the above mentioned? I personally question if it would…
In conclusion, disposable vapes are a giant within the vaping industry, a giant that is constantly being fed and only getting bigger. But it needs to be fed the right things to grow as a positive part of vaping, and not something with so much negative press around it.
Trading Standards being involved in the crackdown of counterfeit products being sold as much as they are fantastic, and I personally believe this should long continue for the safety of the consumer, and the reputation of the vaping industry.
People should also make themselves aware of what to look for when buying a disposable vape to ensure it is a genuine product. Ensure it has a clear health warning on the front of the packaging, it comes with a safety leaflet within the box, and the nicotine content is not higher than 20mg. Stick to buying your vaping products from reputable vape sellers and not your local corner shop.
And the biggest thing that could be implemented by manufacturers is to start dulling things down when it comes to packaging, flavours, and design to try and stop so many underage users from wanting to use them. Because whilst sales may be good now, the longevity of the vape industry may not be so good…
Here are 2X all our products are register with the MHRA and we perform age checks to ensure all our customers are over the age of 18.