Blackburn named UK’s ‘vape capital’ with most shops per head

Blackburn has been named as the ‘vaping capital’ of the UK with most shops per head, a new study has revealed.

Go Smoke Free, an online vape store, used data from Companies House to count the number of registered vape shops in major British towns and cities. This was then compared to population size to determine the proportional number of vape shops per 100,000 residents.

The results showed that north of England had some of the highest numbers, including seven of the top 10 hotspots. Blackburn came out at the very top of the list, with 27 registered vape retailers serving its 119,707 residents.


When accounting for population size, this equates to 22.56 vape shops per 100,000 residents – the largest figure for any UK town or city. Second on the list is Bolton, with 20.26 vape shops registered per 100,000 population.

The borough has 41 registered vape shops in total, serving its 202,369 residents. Manchester ranks third, with 110 vape shops in total, however the city’s larger population ensures this works out to 19.84 registered vape retailers per 100,000 residents.

The recent findings come after Rishi Sunak announced that disposable vapes are being banned in the UK in a bid to stop youngsters becoming addicted to electronic cigarettes. The ban, which does not include refillable vape pens, would come into effect from April 1, 2025 across England, Wales and Scotland.

The UK Tobacco and Vapes Bill 2024 was introduced to Parliament last month, though it has not yet passed in the House of Commons. The bill would also make it punishable offence to sell tobacco products to anyone born on or after Jan 1, 2009.

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