Financial impact from vape ban revealed

Estimated figures put the cost at £9bn to businesses

The UK Government has revealed the extent of costs the incoming disposable ban will have to the economy as its sets out the regulations for England and Wales.

THE UK Government has revealed the financial impact the incoming disposable vape ban will have on the UK’s economy as it lays out regulations for England.

In the UK-wide impact statement discussing the incoming ban – which has also been confirmed as 1 April 2025 for England and Wales – Westminster has said the transition will cost nearly £1billion a year, with a total estimated financial impact over time of more than £9billion.

The government has said this comes as a result of a profit loss to retailers of disposable vapes as well as the added financial burden of introducing alternative nicotine products to the store such as pouches or heat-not-burn products.

Along with this, Westminster has acknowledged that there is a likelihood the illegal trade of disposable vapes would stand to benefit from this ban, highlighting that there is a potential unintended consequence of a black market forming for the products. To mitigate this, the Government said it plans to introduce further powers for Trading Standards.

The issue could stand to be a problematic one for Trading Standards however, as a Yonder consumer poll – conducted on behalf of the Association for Convenience Stores (ACS) – revealed that 24% of existing vape users said they plan to continue to use disposables after the ban is enforced, with illicit trade as their only option to find these products.

As a result, the ACS has called the UK government “naïve” in its approach to the matter, stating that consumers will continue to seek these products even though they will only be available from illegitimate and unregulated sources.

James Lowman, chief executive at the ACS, said: “The Government is at best being incredibly naïve about what is going to happen after the disposable vapes ban comes into force, convincing themselves that banning something will mean it ceases to exist.

“There are a wide range of fundamental problems with the impact assessment, chief of which is a drastic underestimation of the financial impact of a disposable vapes ban on retailers.

“Using the overall turnover figure for retail businesses to calculate the profit loss of a ban on disposables marks a complete failure in understanding the category.

“There is nothing in the regulations or the impact assessment that will deter criminals and rogue traders, who will carry on regardless. To pretend that this will do anything but boost the illicit trade is fantasy policymaking.”