Can I Vape at Christmas Markets?
By James Powley
As the holiday season approaches, many flock to the UK’s vibrant Christmas markets to enjoy a bit of festive food, drink, shopping and entertainment. Across the country, Christmas markets are a popular destination throughout the season because of their enchanting atmosphere, bringing festive warmth and plenty of merry to the colder months.
If you’re planning on visiting a Christmas market this season, it may be important for you to understand the rules and regulations surrounding the use of e-cigarettes before you go. Christmas markets are typically outdoor, open-air events, so you may assume that vaping is perfectly fine – but this isn’t necessarily always the case. Even if a Christmas market takes place at a public space that usually permits vaping, the rules will ultimately be at the discretion of the event organisers.
Is Vaping Banned at Christmas Markets?
There is no nationwide ban on vaping in public spaces, but that doesn’t mean individual markets won’t have their own rules.
At present, it would appear that only one UK Christmas market has its rules about smoking explicitly stated online. According to its online FAQ section, smoking is allowed at Kingston Christmas Market. While there is no specific guidance on vaping, it’s reasonable to assume that if smoking is permitted here, vaping will be too.
Other Christmas markets have a lot of information available online, but do not mention smoking or vaping. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, for example, has published a list of prohibited items in its FAQ section, and vape devices do not appear on the list.
Keep in mind that just because you don’t see vaping mentioned on the market’s website doesn’t mean that vaping is definitely allowed. Some markets may update their info online closer to opening, so keep an eye out for your local market to see if any rules are published.
How to Check if Vaping is Allowed
Just because the rules aren’t explicitly stated online doesn’t mean you should leave it to guesswork – you should always confirm that vaping is allowed before you start using your vape at a Christmas market. If you want to check ahead of time, it’s best to find a phone number on the official website for the Christmas market. Give them a call and ask if they’re able to confirm the rules about vaping on-site.
If your local Christmas market has social media pages, you may be able to contact them there, or you may be able to find an email address on their website.
If you’re unable to get in touch ahead of your visit, keep an eye out for any signage around the market that might indicate whether or not vaping is allowed, and if you don’t see any, find a member of staff to ask. Even if you see others vaping, it’s best to be sure that it’s allowed before you follow suit.
If vaping isn’t prohibited, you should still be mindful of those around you when vaping in a large crowd to be respectful of those around you.
Other Alternatives at Christmas Markets
Where some Christmas markets may have specific rules around e-cigarettes, another alternative to smoking, heated tobacco, is likely to fall under the same guidance. If you use another alternative like heated tobacco, be sure to ask if there are any specific rules.