The Use of Vapes in the UK: Stats for 2024

Last Updated: Mar 8, 2024
The Use of Vapes in the UK: Stats for 2024

With the UK Government rolling out a disposable vape ban in January 2024, we were curious to explore how this change has influenced vaping trends and attitudes nationwide. Our study takes a deep dive into why people vape, their concerns about the ban, and how they might adapt to further regulations, like flavour restrictions and increased taxes. With this in mind, we surveyed 750 vapers aged 18+ following the ban announcement.

The results found that vaping is on the rise in the UK, with 50% of respondents reporting vaping for 1 to 3 years, compared to less than 5% for 6 to 10 years. Plus, nearly 70% enjoy their vaping sessions daily or even more frequently.

Interestingly, while reuseable vapes remain popular among over half of vapers, 30% of respondents stick solely to disposable vapes.

As well as digging into the data, we’ve asked Harris Tanvir, co-founder of UK ECIG STORE, to share his insights.

Harris Tanvir
Harris Tanvir, co-founder of UK ECIG STORE


  • The UK’s vaping habits
  • The UK’s thoughts on the disposable ban
  • How to stop smoking

    The UK’s vaping habits


    UK Vaping Habits Statistics

    How old are UK vapers?

    15% of our surveyed vapers fall into the 18-24 age group, and over 30% are 25-34. This indicates that there are quite a lot of young adults who are into vaping.

    As the legal age for vaping in the UK is 18, we didn’t survey anyone below this.

    Why does the UK vape?

    The NHS found that, although it's not likely to be completely harmless, vaping is substantially less dangerous than smoking. That's probably the reason why when asked why they initially started vaping, the main reason was to quit smoking – 45% of our survey respondents said this.
    Interestingly, when asked about the reason for still vaping today, this motivation remains strong, with nearly 25% of respondents using e-cigarettes to stop smoking.

    Another important factor driving people to vape was to save money, with almost 15% citing it as a key reason.

    And the facts back it up: a typical 20-pack of cigarettes in the UK can set you back £15.26 in January 2024, according to the Office for National Statistics. When you break this down, there are around 10 puffs in one cigarette, meaning each one costs approximately 10p. Now, contrast this with disposable vapes, which offer around 600 puffs for just £5 and £0.01 per puff. That means cigarettes cost approximately 10 times more per puff compared to disposable vapes.
    The desire to save money remained a significant factor, with 15% of respondents still citing it as a primary reason for vaping today.

    Almost 15% said they began vaping to socialise and because their friends were doing it. Harris Tanvir, co-founder of UK ECIG STORE, sheds light on this trend, particularly highlighting its implications for people who vape without a history of smoking:

    "The social pressures that have historically influenced people to start smoking still exist today. In some ways, the prevalence of social media has only enhanced this pressure to fit in, especially for young people."

    "That's why retailers need to step up enforcement of noncompliance with age verification rules. This would ensure that age-restricted products, including vapes, cigarettes, and alcohol, aren't sold to those they're not meant for."


    The UK’s thoughts on the disposable ban


    Disposable Vape Ban Stats

    When asked about changing their vape usage over the next year, nearly 30% of respondents indicated no plans to change, while 15% intended to increase their vape usage.

    Several factors could be driving this trend, one being the high cost of cigarettes. As cigarette prices climb, vaping emerges as an appealing and cost-effective alternative.

    Plus, as new and exciting options keep popping up, vapers are getting hooked on the thrill of trying out different flavours and devices.

    With a ban on disposable vapes, what is the UK concerned about?

    20% of respondents to our survey said that if they were unable to access their vape, they would resort back to smoking traditional cigarettes.

    Harris Tanvir gives us his take on this:

    "If the UK Government is worried about the health of young adults, it would make more sense to tackle cigarette imports. Public Health England found that smoking is 95% more harmful than vaping, yet there are still several ways to import tobacco products into the UK."

    Imported cigarettes may not undergo the same quality control measures and health warnings as those sold through official channels, posing greater risks to public health.

    Harris goes on to say: "The vaping industry was born from people wanting to quit smoking, and we still believe in that aim. The ban may jeopardise the Government's target for the UK to be smoke-free by 2030 as they're taking away some of the essential tools people use to quit. People losing access to their favourite vapes may end up going back to smoking cigarettes."

    "Some people find the different components and features of traditional e-cigarettes challenging. Removing the option of disposable vapes for these groups may only make it harder for them to quit smoking."

    "Banning products rarely solves the issue. Instead, disposables may flood the black market or continue to be sold in locations that don't comply with the current regulations. To prevent youth vaping, we need strict checks for sellers and strong age verification measures.”

    “Currently, disposable vapes are sold in every high street, and some retailers don't follow these vital age verification processes. That's why a ban is unlikely to stop this and may encourage consumers to buy unregulated, unsafe products."

    The increased cost of vaping

    Over 20% of people are concerned about the increased cost of vaping following the disposable vape ban, our survey suggests.

    The UK Government are set to follow in the footsteps of other European countries like Italy and Germany by introducing a tax on vapes. This move aims to restrict access to vapes for those under 18. However, the proposed tax, expected to be disclosed in the March 2024 Budget, might increase prices by at least 25%, despite concerns that it could drive people back to smoking.

    Nevertheless, our survey revealed that over 40% of respondents would continue vaping even if additional taxes were imposed.

    The loss of vape flavours

    The UK Government, along with Scotland and Wales, is contemplating restrictions on vape flavours. The rationale behind this decision is the concern that fruity and sweet flavours may appeal to younger consumers and encourage them to start vaping. However, authorities aim to strike a balance, as a study conducted by London South Bank University suggests that flavoured vaping products can assist adults in quitting smoking.

    Our survey backs this up, as over 20% of vapers said they’d go back to smoking cigarettes, pushing people further in the opposite direction.

    Plus, the effectiveness of flavour restrictions may be called into question, as our data indicates that it would only deter slightly over 35% of vapers. Over 30% would continue using non-flavoured vapes and liquids regardless.


    How to stop smoking

    The most significant statistic that came out of the survey was that over 40% of current vape users would either take up or go back to smoking regular cigarettes if a ban was put in place.

    Here's Harris' advice for how you can stop smoking:

    "In early 2019, UK ECIG STORE were a supply partner for a three-year study with Queen Mary's University, which showed that e-cigarettes are twice as likely to help smokers quit when compared to traditional Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)."

    "However, if e-cigarettes aren't the route you want to take, then getting NRT from your local pharmacy or over-the-counter will be a step in the right direction. Either way, tracking your progress will help keep you on the right path and allow you to celebrate milestones on your journey."

    Why not try writing down the reasons why you want to stop smoking? This will serve as a powerful reminder of your motivations. Surrounding yourself with a supportive network of friends, family, or online communities can also provide encouragement and accountability on your path to quitting.

    Vaping in the UK 2024 Summary


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