As ecigarettes become increasingly popular, the issue of vaping bans in public places is getting fraught with controversy. But, regardless of what individual businesses say about vaping, what does UK law have to say about ecigarettes and vapers’ rights?
Right now, (Summer 2015 for future visitors) the law on ecigarettes is really quite simple. Although the smoking ban of 2007 put an end to smoking tobacco products in any public places, ecigarettes are not included in this ban, because they don’t actually burn anything or release any smoke. This means that you are legally allowed to vape in public places. However, whether or not you are allowed to vape in any public place is completely up to the property owner’s discretion, with many pubs, bars, trains and other businesses expressly banning the use of ecigarettes indoors. You can read our article on where you can vape indoors here, which covers many public places in the UK.
The sale and use of ecigarette products by adults over the age of 18 is entirely legal, and the ingredients of eliquid, namely propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin are both certified safe by UK and American health authorities.
The Future of Vaping in the EU
The legal freedom of vapers is potentially under threat from new EU legislation which is set to come into effect in 2016. The 2014 Tobacco Products Directive, which will come into force on the 26th May 2016 it includes many laws pertaining to the sale and use of ecigs, including:
- All ecigs must ensure that they are tamper-proof and totally leak proof. This is potentially the most damaging piece of legislation, as no current tank can guarantee it is leak free. Therefore, all tanks and EGO style ecigs could be banned. Similarly, changing the atomizers/coils could be considered “tampering” which would, again, mean the ban of most good mods and vape pens
- Limiting the size of ejuice bottles to 10ml, which means saying goodbye to buying bigger bottles at reduced prices
- Limiting the size of cartridges and tanks to 2ml, which means that many popular models including the Aspire Nautilus and Kanger Protank will be contraband
- The maximum concentration of nicotine in ejuice will be 20mg, which will mean fans of stronger nicotine ejuice will have to start illegally mixing their own ejuice at home
- If three member states of the EU ban ecigarettes, it could mean a blanket ban across the EU
Taking your Ecig Abroad
For the time-being, UK law is comparatively permissive and informed about ecigarettes and their legality. However, this isn’t the case in all countries.
Some nations have outright banned ecigarettes, whilst others have very restrictive laws regarding vaping, so before you hop on a plane with your favourite ecig, it’s well worth checking up on vaping laws in your destination.
For more information, read our guide on travelling with your e cigarette.