Where can you use electronic cigarettes in the UK?

One question which has been asked repeatedly since electronic cigarettes came onto the scene in the UK, is where are you actually able to use them? During the very earliest days of electronic cigarettes, you’d hear distributors saying that they were able to be used anywhere, but is this still the case?

Here’s what you need to think about, and the answers to the question, ‘where can you use e-cigarettes in the UK?’ You first need to understand the difference between a public and private space, and have a little knowledge of the UK smoking ban that was implemented in 2007.

What is a public place?

Public spaces include everything from the local park to the pub. UK law states that a public place is any indoor or outdoor space which is accessible by the general public, either for free or on payment. This means that some private property owners are operating what would be considered to be a ‘public place’ if they normally allow members of the public to have access to their property.

Private property

Individual property owners have the right to permit, or even stop people smoking on their premises. If they then choose to restrict their usage, they can do so legally.

UK Smoking Ban

In 2007, the UK smoking ban was brought into place, which eliminated smoking in public places like government buildings, restaurants, train stations and pubs. Electronic cigarettes were not included in that ban, but you should never just assume that they are allowed. By being aware of your surroundings, the public or private space you’re in, you can make a decision as to whether you should use your e-cigarette or not. If you’re in doubt it’s always a good idea to ask whoever is in charge of the place you are in.

Are electronic cigarettes allowed in the workplace?

It will be up to an organisation as to whether they want to put a policy together on e-cigarettes, employers should consider:

  • Creating a set of rules which covers company vehicles, sites and office space.
  • Designating a specific area for e-cigarette users which is separate to the area for conventional smoking

There is no legal reason to ban e-cigarette users from doing so at their desk, in fact it may even increase productivity as employees won’t be popping out for a cigarette break and wasting valuable time.

Should those using electronic cigarette be treated in the same way as traditional smokers? The fact that smoking breaks are already a hot topic means that employers may move to adopt them in the office.

Are electronic cigarettes legal in public?

To sum up, electronic cigarettes are legal in public places in the UK unless a property owner or manager chooses to object. You can vape in the pub or whilst walking in the park and nobody should have a problem. The great thing is that nobody will suffer from the issues caused by passive smoking.

Electronic cigarette smoking etiquette is not as black and white as you’d think. Despite the obvious health benefits from switching from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes, policy makers are undecided on whether they should be allowed across the board, with discussions still ongoing.

Many British residents have given up smoking traditional cigarettes and have turned to electronic cigarettes, and with the smoking ban which came into place in 2007, continuing to allow their usage in public spaces could, and should continue to contribute hugely to the health of the British people.