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UK Government Fails to Ask What the Environmental Impact of Illegal Vapes Will Be in Light of Disposables Ban


Time to read 2 min

Since the UK government plans to go ahead with its strategy to ban disposable vape devices, the UK Vaping Industry Association asks a very prominent question: where is the report on the environmental impact of illegal vapes on the UK environment?

A new face to the disposable vape ban in the UK emerged in recent news when the UKVIA asked the government if they have investigated the potentially harmful environmental effects of illegal vape devices.

UK Government Admits Problem With Illegal Vapes

If you follow the vaping news here at Vape Direct, you will be familiar with our reports on the previous problems the UK Trading Standards officials have had in keeping up with the influx of underground, illegal, or ‘black market’ vapes.

According to Newcastle City Council, illegal tobacco products and fake vape devices cost the government £2 bn in lost tax revenue each year. According to the House of Commons Library, between 2022 and 2023 Trading Standards officials seized over two million illegal vape devices in raids throughout England alone. From March to September of 2023 alone there were half a million illegal vapes seized.

Illegal Vapes Cost Money to Seize

The UKVIA is rightfully asking the question of how that number will fall, should the disposable vaping ban go ahead. Not only will this lost tax and the cost of seizing these fake vapes increase exponentially, the vapes which could flood the UK as a result have the potential to contain heavy metals, lead, and other unregulated chemicals.

We could not find any figures which might reflect how much money the Trading Standards Office spent in seizing their 2 million vapes between 2022 and 2023. We expect it would outweigh the market value of the products seized. A cost only likely to grow with an outright ban in place.

Illegal Vapes Cost the NHS

In turn, this increase in illegal vapes will push up the list of health concerns associated with vaping unregulated e-juice. These health concerns might include the dreaded popcorn lung which the UK media have been threatening us with all along.

In short, this disposable vape ban could have an adverse effect on public health rather than a positive one.

The Environmental Impact of Illegal Vapes is Unknown

Lastly, we do not know what the impact on the UK environment will be, thanks to the illegal vapes which will inevitably flood the market. These notoriously contain heavy metals, which could poison our waterways and our natural areas. When it comes to full prevention, governments always fail. The fact that this government has yet to measure the capacity they will fail by leads to uncertainty and a whole new host of questions.

Warnings from the UK Vaping Industry Association

The UKVIA are an organisation made from different stakeholders within the UK vape community. They pointed out that the Dept. for the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs cites an environmental issue as one of their reasons against disposable vapes. They indicated that since the government has no data to compare the potential environmental catastrophe which a huge influx of illegal vape devices could do with, it seems they are acting on half the research they need.

Again, the UKVIA has called for clear, effective, health-driven, science-backed information to be considered by parliament in any future discussions regarding disposable vapes.

Remember, no matter what form of ruling the government take in the coming years, you can trust Vape Direct for high quality pod kits, mods, coils, and pods. Just see our website for more.