Where (and when) can people can vape?
As more and more people take up vaping, the need for clearer guidelines on vaping indoors increases.
Although the vast majority of vapers are considerate of company policies, having official regulations and clear & universal guidelines will help to ensure that everyone knows exactly where they stand.
In the meantime, it’s up to e-cigarette users themselves to get their heads around the often confusing rules and regulations that govern vaping in offices, pubs, vehicles and private homes.
To help you navigate this complex world of law and etiquette, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide covering everything you need to know about vaping indoors.
Is vaping indoors allowed in the UK?
In the UK, vaping indoors is not prohibited in public places and workplaces. The laws does not expand to cover vaping, and therefore it is up to organisations to make their own policies on the use of e-cigarettes and vaping (on their premises). However, most trains, airports, and public transport have banned the use of e-cigarettes in the UK.
Vaping in the workplace
In 2016, Public Health England (PHE) published a guide to help businesses and employers create clear and reasonable policies on vaping in the workplace. Put together in response to the rapid rise of electronic cigarettes, the Government wanted to use the guide to help encourage employers to allow the use of e cigarettes on their premises.
As Kevin Fenton, national director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England says
“The evidence is clear that vaping is much less harmful than smoking and that e-cigarettes are helping many smokers to quit”
A consequence of this guide is that many companies, especially larger employers, now have their own vaping policies. Before getting your e cigarette out at work, ask your bosses about the agreed vaping rules for your workplace and make sure you stick to them.
While some offices may allow employees to vape at their desks, others will confine e-cigarette use to common rooms. Some may even ask employees to go outside before using their vape pens.
If your workplace doesn’t yet have an indoor vaping policy, ask your bosses if you can work together to create one. By setting a few ground rules you can ensure that everyone is happy with you vaping at work and make it easier for other people to take up vaping as well.
Vaping in pubs and restaurants
Just like workplaces, it’s up to pubs and restaurants to come up with their own rules when it comes to vaping indoors. According to the law, vaping in pubs isn’t illegal in the UK.
Vaping isn’t affected by anti-smoking regulation like conventional cigarettes and other tobacco products, so in theory, you should be able to vape whenever you’re out for a drink. In reality however, a lot of pubs and restaurants have banned vaping inside.
One of the most famous chains to ban vaping is JD Wetherspoon. They decided to stop guests from using their e cigarettes indoors as they found their staff were wasting too much time checking to see if people were vaping or if they were actually smoking.
A lot of other independent pubs and chains have also created their own policies, so if you’re out for a drink with your friends, make sure you ask before you start using your vape pen.
In general, restaurants, and pubs that serve food, don’t allow customers to vape indoors. Even though breathing in second hand vapour is incredibly safe, many establishments have found that diners prefer a completely smoke and vape free environment when they’re enjoying a meal out.
Vaping while driving
In 2015, the Government banned drivers from smoking in their cars if there were people under 18 in the vehicle. This was done in order to protect children from the harmful effects of breathing in second-hand smoke.
As official research has shown that breathing in vapour has virtually no health effects, e cigarettes haven’t been affected by this rule.
However, if motorists fail to pay enough attention to the road when vaping behind the wheel, they could be liable for a hefty fine.
So if you do decide to use your e cigarette when driving, making sure you stay focused. Avoid blowing large clouds of vapour in front of the windscreen as this could obscure your view.
Etiquette to vaping indoors
Rules and regulations can vary from office to office and pub to pub. So it’s always a good idea to check with bosses or staff before using your vape pen indoors. Especially if you are going to be vaping around non-smokers or young people.
If there are people sitting close to you, make sure that you check they’re happy for you to vape before you begin. Try to avoid vaping if someone near to you is enjoying a meal out.
By following these simple etiquette rules, and being aware of the people around you, you shouldn’t have any problems when vaping indoors. Take a look through the information on our site to find out more about vaping rules, etiquette and to help you become smoke-free.