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Where Can and Can’t You Vape Indoors in the UK?

September 07, 2021

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice or guidance. It is solely your responsibility to understand and comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

You want to vape, but you want to follow the laws and be respectful at the same time. It’s a good mindset to have as there are various rules and regulations in place that limit vaping in certain places.

RELX has  compiled a comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know about vaping indoors across the UK.  Follow this closely to avoid confusion and confrontation in various places.

Learn where vaping is allowed. Don’t assume it is legal until you do your research first. Vape pens have been around in the UK for over ten years now, so there’s a lot to catch up on — let’s go:

Is It Legal To Vape Indoors in the UK?

There is no law on the books preventing you from vaping anywhere. However, private companies are free to make their own decisions about vaping in their establishments. 

England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have passed various forms of the smoke-free ban. Most public places will ban any sort of smoke in the air. 

But the UK officially declares e-cigarettes as a better option for those still seeking access to nicotine. Due to this, there are places where indoor vaping is legally permissible. 

It is entirely legal to vape at your leisure indoors throughout the UK in the most basic sense.

However, there are several local bans that you need to be aware of before puffing away.

Where Can You Vape Indoors in the UK?

If you are looking to vape indoors throughout the UK, there are certain options available. 

Pubs

Many pubs have established vaping sections of their establishment where you can feel free to puff away without bothering anyone. Always make sure you ask the proprietor about any rules about vaping the pub might have. 

Shisha Cafés

Unless banned by the operator, establishments with permits in place to operate as hookah lounges or shisha cafés normally do allow for indoor vaping. These establishments are one of the few indoor places in public you may vape more freely.

Driving

There are no laws prohibiting vaping while behind the wheel, especially when you are the only one in the vehicle. The laws do become more serious when operating machinery and vaping in the presence of children.

Beware, should you get into an accident due to a vape cloud obstructing your field of vision, you could receive a fine of up to £2,500.

At Home

You can  vape indoors in the privacy of your own home or if you are a guest in someone else's home. Private areas that are never open to the public have no restrictions regarding indoor vaping. 

You must always refrain from vaping in the presence of minors and non-smokers regardless of the location.  

Where Can’t You Vape Indoors in the UK?

While the letter of the law will not stop you from vaping, the UK has many restrictions put in place through private and public establishments. Public Health England has published guidelines for public and workplace environments to establish regulations on vaping, specifically concerning:

Hospitals

Almost across the board, there is a ban on vaping in hospitals. While each hospital makes its own rules, it is safe to assume it will not be permitted within its walls. Currently, Scotland has the most restrictive vaping regulations throughout its hospitals.

While some facilities will have designated areas for vapers, it is always wise to ask for permission and directions before breaking out your pen.

Public Transportation

Buses, trains, and planes operated by private companies have almost all implemented restrictions on vaping. You could even be forcibly removed from a public vehicle if you are spotted vaping.

Vaping on station platforms is also banned. The entire London Underground bans vaping on any of its premises. 

Aeroplanes have the most strict rules, including rules on how you can transport your pen legally. Contact your airline and enquire about their regulations before heading off to the airport.

Workplaces

Vaping at work is a fine line that individual companies across the country are still determining. Some workplaces have created areas for vapers. Others request that you go outside. 

But there are always exceptions. Some workplaces employ enough people who vape that they allow it indoors as well.

Restaurants

Restaurants tend to be more strict than pubs when it comes to vaping. Often you will find strict prohibitions in all circumstances. 

Hotels

Hotels may have particular floors that permit vaping. But, in general, any public areas will be restricted. When you make your booking, be sure to mention you would like a floor that allows vaping.

State-Run Buildings

Any building or area operated by the government has a ban on vaping in place. From courts to jails to parliament, keep your pens at home.

Conclusion

When it comes to vaping indoors throughout the UK, you just need to be aware of your surroundings. While it is technically legal wherever you go, that does not make you exempt from private bans.

Since private organisations are legally allowed to enforce their own rules, you must comply.

The easiest way to navigate the laws is to be as polite as possible. Simply ask an employee or business owner if you can vape, and they will be happy to inform you of the local rules.

At RELX, we have all the options you need to vape. If you are over 18 and have switched to vaping, we have all the products you need, including pods and pens that will last all day. Experience the RELX difference.