Since bursting on the scene just over a decade ago, vaping has taken over the world. With more and more people swapping their regular cigarettes for e
Since bursting on the scene just over a decade ago, vaping has taken over the world. With more and more people swapping their regular cigarettes for electronic cigarettes, governments in cities and nations spanning the globe have established new laws and regulations regarding their use. While regarded as one of the most vape-friendly nations in the world, the United Kingdom does have a few laws on the books regarding the use of e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes and vaping devices have been available in the UK for a little over a decade, and during that time, they have gone through several changes. In addition to improving the quality of the product, these changes have also been made in response to laws governing how the devices are manufactured and sold. Whether you are a UK native or you are planning on visiting, here is everything you need to know about the UK’s vaping laws.
There are a few restrictions on vape products in the UK. These restrictions are in place to ensure high-quality vape products and accessories and to protect consumers. The strength of e-liquids and the size of their containers are limited. While the maximum nicotine strength used to be 24 percent, it has been lowered to 20mg/ml. E-liquid containers must have capacities of 10 ml or less, and cartridges and clearomisers cannot hold more than 2 ml. E-cigarette manufacturers are required by law to submit detailed information on their products to the government for approval prior to offering their products for sale to the public. There is also a six-month grace period during which no submitted product can be sold.
Where Vaping Is Not Allowed in the UK
Most places in the UK welcome vaping. While many nations and states have imposed vaping restrictions, there is currently no official regional legislation in the UK regarding the use of e-cigarettes. While there are no laws on the books, however, there are still places where you are not allowed to use electronic cigarettes.
The choice of whether or not to allow vaping is that of the property owner. As such, many restaurants, bars, etc. have chosen to include e-cigarettes in their “No Smoking” policies. If you are caught using an e-cigarette in an area where it is not allowed, you will be asked to stop or even leave the area. Since there are no official laws, though, you will not face legal repercussions.
It is also important to note that vaping generally is not allowed on planes, buses or trains in the United Kingdom. Airlines that have banned the practice on board include Easyjet, Ryanair, British Airways, Thomas Cook Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Jet2.
Vaping is banned on most trains, too, and while it was once allowed on platforms, most stations now ban it. Southern Railways, Southeasters, Great Northern, Virgin Trains, London Midland, Eurostar, Gatwick Express, TFL, Thameslink and ScotRail have all moved to ban the use of e-cigarettes. The London Underground also bans vaping. If you are caught vaping on planes, trains, buses, etc., you could face prosecution.
Vaping While Driving
If you think you can vape while on the road by using your own car to get around, then think again. While vaping behind the wheel in itself is not against the law, doing so could lead to some pretty hefty fines. Police officers have warned drivers of the dangers of vaping while driving and are taking steps to reduce instances of this all-too-common practice.
When in use, vape devices create large clouds of mist that can block the driver’s vision. It has been suggested that these clouds could cause temporary blindness and increase the risk of a crash. As a result, motorists who vape behind the wheel could be prosecuted for “driving without due care and attention.”
If you are convicted of driving without due care and attention, you could receive between three and nine penalty points, face up to £2,500 in fines, or even lose your driving privileges. Blowing vapour out your window reduces your likelihood of being pulled over for distracted driving, but it’s best to just avoid vaping when behind the wheel.
Vaping in the UK
Authorities in the United Kingdom recognize that vaping is a far less harmful alternative than smoking tobacco cigarettes, so the government has been hesitant to ban the practice outright. There are, however, a number of regulations in place to ensure the safety of e-cigarette users and to protect others who do not want to be subjected to vapour clouds.
Most of the regulations in the UK apply to the products and how they are manufactured, advertised and sold. There are strict limitations in place regarding the percentage of nicotine that a vape liquid can contain and the capacities for e-liquid containers, cartridges and clearomisers. There are also laws stating that manufacturers may not claim that their products are safer than tobacco cigarettes, even though Public Health England has stated that vaping is 95 percent safer than smoking.
If you plan on vaping in the UK, it is best to check with the owner of an establishment to determine whether the practice is allowed. Keep in mind that the use of e-cigarettes is almost always banned on airplanes, buses, trains and platforms. It’s also banned on the London Underground, and if you are caught puffing on an e-cigarette behind the wheel of your own car, you could face prosecution.
Whether you are a local or you are visiting the United Kingdom, it is important to understand the laws and regulations. As an e-cigarette user, it is your responsibility to ensure that you abide by all applicable restrictions.