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Legal Age to Vape UK & More Vaping Law

May 30, 2019

Vaping is becoming more popular across the UK, with there now thought to be over 3 million vapers. As a result, the government continues to look at the industry to make sure that there is sufficient legislation in place to protect both vapers and public health.

We take a look at some of the UK vaping law currently in place and how this compares to traditional smoking.

What is the legal age to vape in the UK?

You must be 18 or over to purchase e-cigarettes or e-liquids in the UK. This legislation came in to force on 1st October 2015 following government policy change.

At the same time, it also became illegal for an adult to buy e-cigarettes for someone under the age of 18.

However, whilst it is illegal to buy an electronic cigarette if you are under the age of 18, an individual under 18 wouldn’t currently be committing a crime if they do vape at home or in a public place

What are the other UK vaping laws?

Can I vape in public places?

Whilst there is not currently a legal ban on vaping in public places, it is down to the individual establishment to decide whether or not to allow vaping. Many places choose to include vaping in their no smoking policy, so if you are a vaper it is always best to check if doing so is permitted.

Can I vape on public transport?

Again, whilst e-cigarettes are officially exempt from the ban on smoking, in many cases there is typically a blanket ban on vaping on public transport as well. This includes:

• Buses
• Planes
• Trains
• Train stations

Can I vape while driving?

In 2015 legislation was introduced to make private vehicles smoke free if they are:

– Enclosed
– There is more than one person present
– There is a person present who is under 18

However, the gov.uk website states these rules do not apply to e-cigarettes.

The Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA) also issued this response with regards to debate around vaping whilst driving. It points out that there is no new legislation regarding vaping while driving and quotes Sergeant Carl Knapp of the Sussex Roads Policing Unit as saying, “There are no laws prohibiting vaping, however, you need to be in full and proper control of your vehicle at all times. If you are going to vape, I advise that you open your windows and blow the vapour directly out, just ensure that you are in full control of your vehicle before doing so.”

How do vaping laws compare to those around traditional cigarettes?

The current legal age to buy cigarettes is 18, the same as e-cigarettes. However, there is ongoing discussion as to whether this should be raised to 21 given the significant detrimental health implications of smoking.

A number of other laws have come into force regarding smoking over the last 12 years including:

– Banning smoking in public places
– Restricting display of cigarettes in shops
– Requiring warning images and messages about the damaging consequences of smoking
– Ban on advertising of cigarettes

Legislation around smoking is much stricter than e-cigarettes. This is predominantly due to the evidence of how detrimental smoking is to public health.

How has vaping legislation changed over the years?

The use of e-cigarettes and vaping has grown significantly over the last decade. When the products initially came to the market there was very little, if any legislation in place regarding their use.

Most of the regulation and vaping laws in place in the UK refer to the production of e-cigarettes themselves and their design. And many of these regulations are very strict. This is to help ensure that people stay safe when using electronic cigarettes.

Vaping is very much thought of as a part of the campaign to stop people smoking in the UK given that figures released by Public Heath England show that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking. As such it could be argued that vaping laws will be set with this in mind – ongoing discussion amongst MP’s certainly seems to suggest this with calls for blanket bans on vaping to be reconsidered.

As the vaping market has grown so have the number of vape shops, manufacturers and sellers. As a result, there is a growing need for those involved in the vaping market to understand their insurance requirements. As the approved broker to the IBVTA, at Anthony Jones we have a significant amount of experience in this sector. So if you work in the vaping industry and have any questions about your insurance needs don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 0208 290 9080 or ecig@anthonyjones.com

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