UK Tobacco & Vapes Bill 2024 & What It Means For Vapers

Today the UK Government published their Tobacco & Vapes bill 2024 and it is not great news for vapers.

However as it stands this still has to be passed through parliament and further consultation and analysis are apparently to be held.

In the document the government say about the implementation…

“Introduction of regulations on vaping to Parliament are dependent on the successful passage of the bill and those restrictions being subject to further consultation and analysis ahead of introduction. Any timeline on future restrictions will also reflect the need for industry to have time to implement any requirements before they formally come into force. It is our intention for any restrictions to align as closely as possible with the disposables ban in 2025.”

About The Bill
There are 3 main sections of the bill…

·Create the first ever smokefree generation
·Reduce the appeal and availability of vaping products
·Strengthen enforcement of underage sales of tobacco and vapes

What Is Proposed For Vaping?
As we are a vaping website I will explore the sections of the bill related to vaping.

This bill does not specifically impose any bans as it stands. However what it does do is grant the government the control to regulate all aspects of vaping from products available to how they are marketed.

Reducing The Appeal & Availability Of Vaping Products
Below is a copy and paste from the vaping factsheet listing the measures the government are hoping to implement regarding vaping.

“The government will reduce the appeal and availability of vapes to children by:

Providing powers for the government to regulate:

·the flavours and contents of vapes
·the retail packaging and product requirements of vapes
·the point of sale displays of vapes
·extending the existing offence to sell a nicotine vaping product to a person who is under the age of 18 to non-nicotine vapes for England and Wales
·introducing a ban on the free distribution of vapes to under 18s for England and Wales
·updating the existing vape notification system to align with future regulatory requirements

Vapes are defined in the bill to cover both nicotine and non-nicotine vapes. E-cigarettes are vaping products which contain nicotine.

The bill also gives powers to extend the measures outlined above to other nicotine products, such as nicotine pouches.”

Vape Flavours
Sadly it looks like the government are going to be coming for vape flavours. As a 48 year old who exclusively vapes Bubblegum flavour this saddens me a lot.

Their reasoning is that restricting vape flavours has the potential to significantly reduce youth vaping. They say…

“In Great Britain, the ASH 2023 report Use of e-cigarettes among young people in Great Britain shows that the most frequently used vape flavouring for children is ‘fruit flavour’, with 60% of current children using them. Seventeen per cent of children who vape choose sweet flavours such as chocolate or candy.

Our call for evidence on youth vaping showed us that children are attracted to the fruit and sweet flavours of vapes, both in their taste and smell, as well as how they are described. Research also shows that flavours are an important factor in motivating young people to start vaping.”

Sadly this means…

“The bill will provide powers to regulate flavours and contents of vapes and other nicotine products in the future. To avoid unintended consequences on adult smoking rates, the scope of restrictions will need to be carefully considered.

Further analysis and consultation will need to take place before any specific regulations are introduced.”

Display Of Vapes
When it comes to the display of vaping products the document says…

“Unlike tobacco products, vapes are currently allowed to be displayed anywhere for sale. It is unacceptable that children can see and pick up these products in retail settings easily due to them being displayed within aisles, close to sweets and confectionery products and on accessible shelves.

The ASH report Public support for government action on tobacco found that 74% of adults in England support the prohibiting of point of sale promotion of vapes.
The bill will provide powers to regulate where vapes can be displayed in retail outlets. Further analysis and consultation will take place before any specific regulations are introduced.”

The results for the ASH survey are shown below.

Vape Packaging
Again this bill is to allow government the power to regulate how vaping products are packaged.


“Vapes can entice children to start vaping through brightly coloured packaging, and imagery such as cartoons. The retail packaging of vapes can vary significantly, which can influence a child’s intention to try different vaping products.

Research on standardised packaging shows that standardising vape retail packaging with reduced brand imagery can decrease the appeal of vape products among young people.”

They say that the 2023 ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) public opinion survey found that 76% of adults in England support limiting packaging – i.e. bright colours, cartoon like graphics and sweets.

“The bill will provide powers to regulate how the vape product is presented and packaged. Further analysis and consultation will take place before any specific restrictions are introduced. “

Non Nicotine Vapes & Other Vaping Products
Even non nicotine vapes are under scrutiny.

The bill says…

“We have a duty to protect children from the potential harms of vaping, and there is evidence to indicate that non-nicotine vapes can serve as a gateway to nicotine vapes.”

As it stands zero nicotine vapes are not currently subject to the same regulations as nicotine containing ones. The bill says that non nicotine e-liquid for instance (shortfills) are used as a loophole with users adding nicotine after purchase.

Therefore the government want to stop this in order to…

“reduce the risk of non-nicotine vapes acting as gateway products to nicotine vapes.”


Anyway they are proposing to introduce age restrictions on non nicotine vapes and other nicotine products (which I assume are things like Nicotine pouches).

“The regulations on vape flavours, retail packaging and displays will apply to both nicotine and non-nicotine vapes.”

Free Distribution Of Vapes To Children
Well this is one category I think the majority of vapers will agree with.

“There is currently no restriction on the free distribution of nicotine or non-nicotine vapes in England or Wales to those under the age of sale.

The bill will close this loophole and make it an offence to give away a vaping product or coupon in England and Wales, which can later be redeemed for a vaping product, to someone who is under the age of 18.”

This seems sensible.

Disposable Vapes
This topic has been discussed many times with the UK now planning to ban disposable (single use) vapes.

The framework for the ban has progressed and I will be covering it in another article soon but here is what the bill has to say…

“The UK government already has powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to ban the sale and supply of items which cause pollution to the environment or harm to human health. Therefore these measures are not included in the bill, however draft regulations have been published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and, at the time of publication, are out for consultation. The Scottish Government and Welsh Government have also confirmed they intend to introduce legislation. We intend for the ban on disposable vapes to come into force at the same time as the measures in this bill.”

Vape Product Regulation
There will be updates to how actual vaping products are regulated…

“Currently, to supply a nicotine containing vape (and a refill container) on the UK market, businesses must first notify their product to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). This system helps ensure that products are in line with the high standards set by the UK government as set out by The Tobacco and Related Product Regulations 2016 (TRPR) (Part 6).

Given the bill will include new regulation making powers on vapes (nicotine and non-nicotine) and other nicotine products, it is important for government, businesses and enforcement agencies that the current notification system aligns with future regulatory requirements.

Therefore, we will be taking the regulation making powers for Great Britain that will enable us to amend the information that needs to be notified (to include new requirements on flavours) and for exceptions to the duty to publish information to be included (for example where the required fee has not been paid).

Any technical changes to the notification system under TRPR in Great Britain will be subject to further consultation before regulations are made.”

Vaping Products Duty (Vape Tax)
We have discussed this in a previous article here – but the reason for this is apparently…

“Vapes are often sold at ‘pocket money’ prices, making them extremely affordable to children and young people.

To discourage non-smokers and young people from taking up vaping and to raise revenue to help fund public services like the NHS, the government will introduce a new excise duty on vaping products.

Registrations and approvals for the tax will start from 1 April 2026 and the tax will take effect from 1 October 2026.”

The tax is only mentioned and will not be part of the Tobacco and Vapes Bill 2024.

My Thoughts
As a vaper I feel punished.

I felt that the UK was very encouraging when it came to swapping from combustible tobacco to vapes. I felt proud that I had made the switch.

Now in every day life I get people slagging off vaping, quoting how dangerous it is, long debunked myths about “popcorn lung” and how it is killing young people.

Obviously the majority of the problem is the UK media which seems determined to scaremonger with stories which are often untrue or badly researched.

Adding further regulation means the Government is perpetuating all the myths about the “danger of vaping” and fuelling the scare stories.

Some areas I agree with, especially tightening up on underage sales and any loopholes which allow children to access nicotine. Also anything which helps restrict “black market” activity.

But on the whole this seems very heavy handed and an unusual stance for a government who less than a year ago promoted a “Swap to stop” scheme where smokers would be provided with free vapes to help them quit.

Someone please make it make sense?