Vaping does not produce smoke and therefore seems to be much kinder to our lungs than cigarettes. This also means that vaping does not pose the same second-hand inhalation risks.
Despite this, vaping is still banned in many public places, perhaps because the long-term effects are still unknown. Certain environments may also choose to ban vaping as it produces clouds which resemble smoke and so, particularly for those using cigalikes, may be mistaken for smoking.
But let's cut to the chase: you probably just want to know, plain and simple, where you can and can’t vape. The 2007 smoking ban which eliminated smoking in public spaces does not apply to electronic cigarettes. However, as there’s no blanket ban, it’s difficult to specify where vaping is and isn't allowed.
The best advice we can provide is, if in doubt, just ask! You’re not going to get kicked out of a pub if you politely ask the staff if you can vape – but you might if you just go ahead and assume it’s okay.
Escape the Vape – Where You CAN'T Vape
Vaping is not banned in all public dining and drinking establishments, but it is in certain pubs, restaurants and coffee shop chains.This includes Wetherspoons, Starbucks, KFC, All Bar One and Caffe Nero.
Most trains – vaping is not allowed on most UK train-lines, or on their platforms. This includes Southern Rail UK, Virgin Trains, Northern Trains, Cross Country Trains, Greater Anglia, First Capital Connect and Transport for London.
Certain coaches and buses – again, there is no blanket ban for vaping on buses and coaches, so it's always best to ask your driver first. It is banned on National Express coaches and, if you break this rule, you risk being kicked off the bus without a refund. Vaping is also not permitted on London buses.
Most airports – vaping is not permitted indoors at most UK airports, including London Gatwick, Manchester, London Stansted, London Luton, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Glasgow, Bristol and Newcastle.
Airlines – you can assume that you will not be allowed to vape on any UK airline, although different rules will apply:
Virgin Atlantic – you can carry electronic cigarettes on board but you must not use them.
Aer Lingus – not allowed.
British Airways – e-cigs can be purchased on the plane depending on your destination. No specific guidance on usage but it's best to assume that you are not allowed.
EasyJet – you may take electronic cigarettes on board but you are not allowed to use them.
Ryanair – e-cigarette use not permitted. Ryanair do sell 'smokeless cigarettes' on board however, which work like nicotine inhalers.
All premier league football grounds and most sports stadiums. An exception is Burnley FC, which has designated vaping zones.
Inside hospitals – you are generally not allowed to vape indoors of a hospital and, in Scotland, you can’t use them in a hospital's outdoor areas either.
Landscapes for Vapes – Where You CAN Vape
Certain pubs, restaurants and coffee shops – it all depends on their own individual policy. Whilst certain chains as mentioned above won't allow it, others, particularly independently owned establishments, may be cool with vaping. Your best bet is to just ask!
Southeastern trains and their platforms. Whilst vaping is not allowed on most trains or platforms, Southeastern trains are currently an exception. Good news for Kent!
Heathrow airport – whilst vaping is not permitted inside most UK airports, there is a designated vaping area in Heathrow’s Terminal 4.
Outside hospitals – excluding Scotland, most UK hospitals will not prevent you from vaping outside in dedicated smoking areas.
Some local buses – whilst vaping is usually not allowed on major coach companies like National Express, it may be allowed on local buses. Always check with your driver or conductor first!
In the street and public parks - it's okay to vape in outdoor public spaces, unless it specifies not to.
In your home! Vaping inside of your own home is totally your choice and free will. Whilst smoking cigarettes indoors is not advised as it poses a fire risk, vapes do not burn any material and are therefore considered safe for use indoors. This of course applies to any of your friends homes also - but you should always ask permission first!