Disposable e-cigarettes could soon be banned in Germany

Disposable e-cigarettes could soon be banned in Germany

E-cigarettes are all the rage among German youngsters, but the pastel-coloured bars could soon vanish in a puff of smoke as the German Bundesrat lays plans to ban disposable vapes.

German Bundesrat supports vape ban

Following a January appeal by the state government in Bavaria for e-cigarettes to be banned EU-wide, the German Bundesrat is now urging the federal government to consider a ban across Germany. Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke added her support, calling on the government to institute a ban on disposable e-cigarettes.

Currently, more than 5 million disposable vapes are sold in Germany each month, the most famous brand being the Chinese-owned Elfbar. According to the German E-cigarette Trade Association (VdeH), the sale of e-cigarettes made more than 300 million euros in the federal republic last year. E-cigarettes are now regularly sold in supermarkets and Spätis for between seven and 10 euros, which gets the smoker up to 600 draws.

More teens in Germany are smoking

Apple Peach, Banana Ice and Blueberry Sour Raspberry: sickly sweet vape flavours and pastel-coloured packaging make e-cigarettes the alcopops of smoking, with smells that distract newly rebellious teens from unpleasant realities that come with smoking a real cigarette. 

Evidently, marketing and distraction are working their magic on German youngsters. In the past year, the number of 14 to 17-year-olds vaping in Germany rose substantially. In a recent representative survey, 15,9 percent of adolescents in Germany admitted that they smoke.

Vape companies use TikTok to market to teens

The amount of nicotine in e-cigarettes can also be substantially higher than in conventional cigarettes. Speaking to Stern, head of the organisation Suchtprävention Berlin (Addiction Prevention Berlin) Christina Schadt said that “young people who do not smoke yet are introduced to vaping with these products. The sweet taste and a vapour that doesn’t scratch the throat gives a false impression that they are consuming something harmless.”

A 2022 investigation by the Observer newspaper also found that Elfbar was skirting UK advertising regulations by hiring TikTok influencers to market their products online. Paid partnership TikTok videos are not always clearly marked as advertising and the Chinese-owned platform is predominantly populated by younger-age users, with half of eight to 11-year-olds and three-quarters of 16 to 17-year-olds having an account.

Thumb image credit: Yarrrrrbright /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



Leave a comment