My Pages Menu
Vaping Laws UK - Northerner Article Cover

Where Can You Vape? A Guide to Vaping Laws UK

Vaping laws are made for two different categories: vapers and manufacturers/retailers. While the laws for retailers and manufacturers is pretty much set in stone, the UK vaping laws for vapers are more frequently changing. So, what vaping laws UK are relevant for vapers? Read on as we answer some of the most commonly asked questions. 

The Basics: Overview of UK Vape Laws (2023)

  • - You must be 18 years old or over to buy and use a vape in the UK.
  • - Vape catridges must not contain over 2ml of eliquid or contain more than 20mg of nicotine per ml. 
  • - Vaping rules in public spaces is down to the owner of the area to decide, but most include vapes in their “no smoking” policies.

Can You Vape in Public Places?

Now you know the basics, let’s cover one of the biggest questions from vapers: “can I vape in public places?”

Generally, this is down to whoever owns the area: for example, in a restaurant, it is up to the owner to decide where vapes are allowed on their premises) and for open spaces, it is up to the local authorities. However, a lot of places have updated their “no smoking” policies to include vapes. To help you work out where you can and cannot vape in the UK, we created a list of UK vaping laws in different venues and locations. 

Vaping in Restaurants, Coffee Shops and Pubs

Unlike smoking, there is no blanket ban on vaping in pubs, coffee shops or restaurants. However, the large majority of restaurant chains in the UK have ban vaping from their restaurants. This includes KFC, McDonalds, Cafe Nero and Starbucks to name a few. 
There are some pubs and independent locations that may allow you to vape, but it's always best to check and contact the location if you are unsure of their rules on vaping. 

Vaping at Concerts

While it us up to the owner of the space to decide on whether they permit vaping or not, a lot of the larger venues do not permit vaping. Some of the venues that have ban vaping on-site include the NEC in Birmingham (unless it is for the Vaper Expo UK, held twice a year) and Wembley Stadium. 
Some smaller clubs and venues may have different rules, make sure to check what the rules and regulations by contacting the venue before you visit. 

Vaping at Sports Events

Same rule of thumb applies to sporting venues as other public places: it is up to the owner to decide the vaping rules. This means that from club to club, there are some big variations on vaping rules. 
A large majority of the bigger sports stadiums (such as Old Trafford and the Emirates Stadium) have enforced a strict ban, incorporating it into their “no smoking” policies. However, some smaller clubs may have a different set of rules - so always check with the team at the stadium before you vape. 

Vaping in Hospitals

Hospitals in Scotland have banned e-cigarettes from not just the hospital buildings, but also the surrounding grounds (excluding NHS Lothian Trust). In England and Wales, there has been no similar blanket ban, but many hospitals do have their own vaping bans on site. 

Vaping on Public Transport

Vaping is generally not allowed on most forms of public transport for the comfort of other passengers. You can even be reprimanded if you try vape on station platforms or bus stations - it is good to wait until you are clear of the stations before you start vaping and avoid vaping in “no smoking” areas of public transport stations. 

Vaping While Driving

If you drive, vaping while driving is legal - but would not be advised as it can obscure the driver's vision. However, the Police can pull you over and potentially prosecute you for driving without due care if they see your car is filled with vapour. If prosecuted, you could have up to nine points deducted from your license and fine of up to £5,000. It is therefore recommended that you vape before you enter the car, rather than as you are on the move.

Vaping on Planes

You can travel with your disposable vape - but you cannot take a puff while inside the airport or while up in the air. Some airports have designated smoking areas where you can vape before you travel, so make sure to research this before you go!

Vaping on Ferries or Cruises

Generally, when on a ferry or cruise, you can vape in designated smoking areas. Most ships have an assigned deck or outdoor space you will be able to vape. You cannot generally smoke in your cabin or on the cabin balcony. 

Vaping on Holiday

While there are only small number of restrictions on travelling with vapes in the UK, it is good to be cautious when traveling with a vape, as vape laws can vary dramatically between countries. There are even countries that have put a complete ban on vapes, such as Thailand and Qatar - so make sure to check the rules with the local embassy before you travel.

Vape Product Regulations

The UK introduced the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (TRPR) into UK law in 2017, which changes the UK vaping product rules and policies. 
The introduction of TRPR means that:

  • - Eliquid bottles cannot contain more than 10ml of eliquid.
  • - Vape tanks cannot have a capacity of more than 2ml
  • - All packaging must contain nicotine warnings and be child-resistant as well as tamper evident. 
  • - Colourings, taurine and caffeine among other items are ban ingredients in vapes. 
  • - Eliquids must not have a nicotine strength of more than 2% (20mg/ml)
  • - The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) must be notified about products before they are sold to consumers. 

How to Spot an Illegal Vape

Recently, there has been an increase in the number of “cheap fakes” entering the UK vape market. These products are often cheap knock-off versions of popular vape brands and have not been through safety testing - so a large majority are illegal and not compliant with the vape laws in the UK. 
To avoid getting an illegal vape, one of the best things you can do is know what to look for. When buying make sure to look at:

  1. The nicotine strength of the product. This is clearly displayed on all vape labels, just like a bottle of beer. If the product says anything over 2% it is illegal and therefore potentially harmful too.
  2. The size of the vape (how many puffs and how much eliquid). This is clearly displayed on all vape labels also. No disposable vape tank should contain more than 2ml (around 600 puffs worth) of eliquid, and no eliquid bottle should contain more than 10ml of eliquid. 

How are Illegal Vapes Harmful?

Breaking some of these regulations might not seem of huge importance. Why does it matter if a vape contains 12ml of eliquid rather than 10 ml? The chances of this product being fake are very high. Any fake products that are currently in circulation have not been regulated by any UK registered standards boards or agencies which means that there is no guarantee how safe or harmful this product is, where it was made, or what’s actually inside. 
Vaping Laws UK

Elux is one of the largest brands of disposable vapes: but why is the Elux 600 legal and Elux 3500 illegal in the UK? 

The Elux 3500 (if it contains nicotine) is illegal: you cannot get that many puffs from 2ml of eliquid. As UK laws prohibit the sale of disposable vapes with tanks that contain more than 2ml of eliquid, Elux 3500's that contain nicotine are illegal in the UK.

Seen an Elux 3500 that contains nicotine for sale in the UK? It is against regulatory standards and could even be a fake. Make sure to only buy vapes from legit retailers and ideally choose UK-based retailers.

Got questions? Reach out to our customer service team!

More about Vape Go to lifestyle