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What are the UK laws on vaping?

Vaping and e-cig products have been available in the UK for more than ten years. Many e-cigs are still similar in appearance to earlier versions but have evolved in looks and styles, enhancing and personalising the vaping experience.  Along with this, regulatory changes in quality, safety and performance have altered how they are marketed and sold to consumers. If you are a UK native or visiting the country, you should be aware of how this affects you.

Vaping in public areas:

Currently, there are no legal restrictions on vaping in public areas, but there are local laws in force that prohibit vaping. Many public places and establishments have applied customised rules. It's well known that e-cig vapour isn't harmful to others like regular cigarette smoke, but it is still polite to exercise caution when vaping around others.  For clarity, e-cigarettes and vape kits are not subjected to the same laws as traditional cigarettes.  The ban on smoking in the workplace or public areas does not apply to vaping, but this doesn't allow you to vape anywhere you like.

Vaping in the car:

Technically, vaping whilst driving is not breaking any laws. What does appear to be problematic is the exhaled vapour which could obstruct the drivers' view. If pulled over and charged for this offence, a hefty fine and up to nine points on your licence will be the result of driving without due care and attention. If you absolutely have to use your vape, keep the drivers' side window open to allow any vapour to escape.

Product restrictions:

In 2017 the Tobacco & Related Products Regulations (TRPR) came into law in the UK.  This changed some of the rules around vaping products and policies. Below is a brief outline, and for a broader and more detailed guide, please follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/e-cigarettes-regulations-for-consumer-products#overview

•    The maximum volume of nicotine-containing e-liquid to be restricted to 10ml per container/bottle.
•    Restrictions on e-cigarette tanks: capacities of no more than 2ml.
•    Requirements on nicotine-containing products and all packaging to be child-resistant and tamper-evident.
•    A ban on certain ingredients, including but not limited to colourings, caffeine and taurine.
•    Include updated labelling requirements and warnings on packaging.
•    E-liquids to be restricted to a nicotine strength of no more than 20mg per ml (2%)
•    Requirements on all e-cigarettes and e-liquids to be notified to the MHRA (Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) before they are sold to consumers.

Vaping on public transport:

There are no regulations or guidelines that prohibit vaping in different forms of public transport. Still, most train and bus companies have implemented policies prohibiting vaping on the bus or train, platforms and stations. When it comes to vaping onboard planes, the restrictions are far more stringent.

Vaping in pubs and bars:

The vast majority of pubs treat vaping the same way they would smoking and ask their customers to adhere to these rules. Some pubs do allow e-cigarette use, but not all of them.

Vaping age restrictions:

A person who wishes to purchase c-cigarettes/e-liquids must be 18 years or over. It is illegal for any advertising to include models who may appear to be under the age of 25 years.  Steps were put in place to protect and discourage children from taking up vaping or smoking.