In England, vaping products are seen as a positive method to help people stop smoking cigarettes. And as such the use of e-cigarettes is becoming increasing prevalent.
E-cigarettes are not covered by smoke free legislation such as the Health Act 2006. This is because they do not burn tobacco or create smoke. However, there are still a number of things you should be aware of when it comes to vaping in public.
Can you vape in public?
Yes, you can vape in public places. There is no law which forbids the use of vaping products in public places.
However, rules on the use of e-cigarettes and vape products can be imposed by the setting which you are in. So, if you want to vape in a public place then it will be a good idea to check the policy on vaping before going ahead.
Can I vape on the street?
Yes, as above there are no laws currently in place in the UK which will prevent you from smoking on the street. Unless you are at a designated venue who have their own vaping policy in place which prevents you from doing so.
Where are you not allowed to vape?
It is up to premises owners to determine their own policy on vaping and to decide whether they will allow it or not. Therefore, before vaping in any space, check the vaping policy.
In most cases, vaping is not allowed on public transport. For example, vaping is banned across all forms of transport by Transport for London.
Most airports and airlines also ban the use of e-cigarettes.
What are the vaping laws in the UK?
Whilst vaping in a public place may not be covered by specific law, there are other laws which do apply.
You must be 18 years old to buy vaping products in England. Buying vape products for anyone under the age of 18 is also illegal.
Vaping whilst driving
E-cigarettes are not covered by laws which mean private vehicles must be smoke free if they are enclosed, there is more than one person present and one of them is under 18.
So, whilst there are no laws which prevent vaping in a private vehicle, you must continue to ensure that you have proper control of the vehicle at all times.
There is strict regulation of e-cigarettes in the UK. Particularly under the Tobacco and related Products Regulations (TRPR) and the Tobacco Products and Nicotine Inhaling Products (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020.
Amongst other areas these regulations
- ensure strict safety and quality standards of e-cigarettes and e-liquids
- put requirements on the information that is provided to consumers
- ensure that all new products are notified before being allowed to be put on the market.
Advertising and promotion of vape products
The UK has very strict rules when it comes to the promotion and advertising of e-cigarettes and businesses must adhere to these rules.
Whilst vaping and e-cigarettes are considered a positive method to help people stop smoking and the latest Vaping in England Report 2021 Evidence Update published by Public Health England supports this, it is unlikely that we will see stricter laws introduced regarding where you can vape. Strict regulation of the industry is likely to continue however, and retailers and manufacturers of vape products must ensure they adhere to all the relevant rules and laws.
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