As a wholesale supplier of e-liquids for electronic cigarettes, one of the most common questions we receive regards to the law on vaping in public in the UK. E-cig smokers are always concerned about where they can vape and where they can’t and what the difference in rules is to tobacco smoking. Here’s a look at the current situation to help you educate your customers.
Currently, the position on vaping in a pub depends on the owner of the business. There is no law that says people have to go outside to vape in the same way they do with smoking, so you aren’t breaking the law by vaping indoors. But some pubs and restaurants have banned the products – JD Wetherspoons are one of the most well-known.
Other chains and companies have decided to leave it up to individual pubs or not ban them outright. So, the answer to the question depends on where you are – customers are best just to ask a member of staff before starting up their e-cigarette to avoid an awkward situation.
Another equally vague and confusing situation regards vaping at work. Again, it has been confirmed that it isn’t illegal to use an electronic cigarette in the workplace as it would be with a tobacco cigarette. But some employers have bundled the two together in their approach.
Some employers take the view that the use of vaping products in the workplace where there are customers doesn’t look good. It can also cause some conflict with tobacco smokers who feel they are being prejudiced against, so employers ban both to avoid this problem.
On the other hand, some employers are happy to have staff use these products in the workplace as part of a stop-smoking effort. Alternatively, they may ask people vaping to use the smoking areas. Just like with pubs, it is up to the employer as to what their policy is, and it should be laid out in the employee workbook.
Most public transport operators have currently banned the use of vaping products on buses, trains and aircraft. There is one notable exception, South-eastern trains, who have said people are welcome to use e-cigarettes while travelling on their trains. For the rest of the country though, the answer remains no.
Likewise, most airport terminals ban the use vaping products. You can mostly take your products on the plane with you when you travel, and Heathrow’s Terminal 4 does have a dedicated spot for vapers to use. But the rules are changing all the time, so it never hurts to ask when using public transport.
Because there is no law against vaping in public in the same way as with tobacco smoking, it is the case that you can vape in public outdoors without any concern. This means if you are in an open-air shopping area, walking through the town, visiting a park or any other outdoor area, you are allowed to vape.
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