Millions knocked off value of vaping firms ahead of government ban

Monday 29 January 2024

Shares in vaping firms tumbled on Monday morning as disposable vapes are set to be banned in Britain.

Rishi Sunak said that the ban on disposable vapes was balanced and the “right” action, telling broadcasters: “You talk to any parent or teacher, they’ll talk to you about the worrying rise in vaping among children.

“Children shouldn’t be vaping, we don’t want them to get addicted, we still don’t understand the full long-term health impacts of vaping. So it is right we take strong action to stamp this out.”

Chill Brands saw shares slide by as much as 35% in early trading as a result, while rival business Supreme saw shares drop around 12%.

Chill’s market value had fallen by over £3 million, with over £10 million knocked off Supreme’s valuation during the morning trading session.

The announcement forms part of the Government’s response to its consultation on smoking and vaping, which was launched in October last year.

TalkTV's Political Correspondent Peter Cardwell said: "It's a big, big change from the government; the only other government that's actually done this is New Zealand, and they've reversed that decision.

"People like Liz Truss are coming out saying this is a restriction on people's liberties and people should be able to make their own decisions.

"I was in a vape shop last week getting my phone fixed and it was like a sweet shop with very brightly coloured flavours like watermelon, candy floss, things like that, and that is something that the government wants to curb.

"I spoke to a teacher just a couple of weeks ago who told me that it wasn't just vapes themselves, but Spice, that awful, very cheap drug that is sometimes being put into vapes, and children share it and are like zombies at the end.

"There are real public health concerns here, but also concerns about liberty and I think Rishi Sunak is going to be in trouble as a certain number of Conservative MPs won't be happy about this restriction on liberty."

New data shows the number of children vaping in the last three years has tripled, the Government said, adding that use among younger children is also rising, with 9% of 11 to 15-year-olds now using vapes.

£100 fines will also be brought in for shops in England and Wales which sell vapes illegally to children

Disposable vapes have been pushing the rise in youth vaping, with the proportion of 11 to 17-year-old vapers using disposables increasing almost ninefold in the last two years, it added.

New powers will also be introduced to restrict flavours which are specifically marketed at children and ensure that manufacturers produce plainer packaging and change how vapes are displayed in shops, moving them out of children’s sight.

New £100 fines will also be brought in for shops in England and Wales which sell vapes illegally to children.

Trading standards officers will be given powers to act “on the spot” to tackle underage tobacco and vape sales. This builds on a maximum £2,500 fine that local authorities can already impose.

Vaping alternatives – such as nicotine pouches – will also be banned for children.

Under the Tobacco and Vapes Bill, the Government plans to introduce legislation so children turning 15 this year or younger can never legally be sold tobacco – to bring about the “first smoke-free generation”.