| Andy Staples
If you smoke traditional cigarettes, the rules are pretty straightforward. We all know that you aren’t allowed to smoke in most public places unless there is a designated smoking area. But with e-cigarettes, it’s a little more ambiguous.
Vaping doesn’t create any second-hand smoke or offensive odours that can pose any harm to bystanders. So it often seems like vaping in public places shouldn’t be a problem.
However, the UK vaping laws or rules can be a little confusing, and we’re left asking ourselves: where can I vape in the UK? The pub? An airport or plane? A train?
Well, in this article, we will answer all your questions! Let’s discuss where you can and cannot vape in the UK…
Vaping on Public Transport
Are you allowed to vape on a train?
Vaping on a train is not illegal, however, most companies have banned it. All the big train companies, such as Transport For London, Northern, Virgin, Thameslink, etc., have banned the use of e-cigarettes both on the train and the platform.
If you’re unsure, check the company policies on the website of the train service you’re travelling with. However, the likelihood is that you will not be allowed to vape on the train.
Although vaping doesn’t pose a risk to bystanders, it may unsettle other passengers or cause people to think that smoking real cigarettes is allowed. This is probably why most train services have banned the use of e-cigs.
What about vaping on a bus or coach?
Similarly to trains, vaping on a bus or coach is not illegal in the UK, but most companies have banned it.
Again, check the company's website, or simply ask the driver about their vaping policies.
Are Vapes Allowed on Planes?
We have actually published an entire article to answer the question ‘Am I allowed to take my vape on a plane?’. Click here to check it out!
For those who don’t want to read that whole article, let’s cut straight to the chase… are you allowed to take vapes on a plane? In summary, e-cigarettes are allowed on planes, but they must go in your carry-on luggage. They can’t go in the main hold luggage due to safety concerns.
You are not allowed to use your vape on any plane or even charge your device. The best advice is simply to keep it securely in your hand luggage for the duration of your flight. And make sure it’s switched off!
What about vaping in the airport?
Just like on planes, vaping is banned in all UK airports. So, where can you vape whilst waiting for your flight? Some airports may have dedicated vaping areas that you can go to. For example, Heathrow airport has a vaping lounge in Terminal 4!
In most airports, you will have to go outside to use your device. But again, check the airport’s vaping policies on their website to find out more.
UK Laws on Vaping in Public Places
Where can you vape in public?
When it comes to vaping in public laws, there is no legal ban in the UK. Different places will implement their own rules, meaning it’s always best to check with the individual establishment.
If you are allowed to vape in a public place, ensure you’re aware and considerate of others around you. If we, as vapers, avoid leaving a negative impression on bystanders, we will encourage companies to continue to allow us to vape on their premises.
Vaping in pubs & restaurants
It’s not illegal to vape in pubs and restaurants, but most places will have banned it and require that you go outside to the smoking area.
Some pubs do still allow vaping indoors, however, check the website or ask behind the bar before you get your e-cig out.
Vaping in sports stadiums & music venues
Most of the large sports stadiums and music venues (which often coincide with one another!) prohibit vaping.
Nevertheless, smaller venues can sometimes have a more relaxed attitude. If you are going to an event in a smaller venue, it may be worth asking a member of staff for their vaping policies.
Can You Vape While Driving?
The actual act of vaping whilst driving is not illegal or punishable. However, it becomes a problem if you are creating huge vape clouds that obstruct your view of the road.
In this case, you could be penalised for driving without due care and attention. If you are determined as not being in control of your vehicle, you could face a £2500 fine and up to 9 points on your license.
So, go ahead and vape whilst driving, but don’t blow huge vape clouds in front of your face! Open the window or use a less powerful device that creates smaller, thinner clouds.
It is more important to be safe! And it’s important to take breaks when driving longer distances, even if it is only a ‘vape break’.