What Are the UK Vaping Laws?

Vaping is a smoke-free alternative for adult smokers switching from cigarettes in the UK. For adult vapers or adult smokers considering the switch, there are several laws on vaping users should take notice of. This guide will explore the UK's vaping laws, from the legal consumption age and vaping product restrictions, to where you can vape. Plus, find information about vaping best practices.

Vaping Age Restrictions

You must be 18 or older to buy vapes/e-cigarettes or e-liquids in the UK. The restrictions extend beyond vapes and e-liquids to related products like coils and atomisers. It’s illegal for adult users to buy or attempt to buy tobacco or vaping products for anybody under the age of 18.

Vape adverts should not include models who appear to be under the age of 25. These measures are in place to prevent underage individuals from vaping. Vapes are not risk-free and provide nicotine, which is addictive.

Vaping Product Restrictions

The UK has implemented several restrictions on vaping products to protect adult consumers. In 2016, new EU regulations banned e-liquid containing diacetyl. The EU has also banned other ingredients, including colourings, caffeine and taurine¹. When these restrictions were introduced, the UK was still part of the EU, and the rules are still active today. Further rules on vaping products include a restriction on nicotine strength. Manufacturers cannot exceed the legal nicotine limit of 20mg/ml¹.

All e-cigarettes and e-liquids must be notified and published by the MHRA, a UK government agency, before they can be sold. Manufacturers must submit their product’s details six months before making it available to the public. 

Where Can You Vape?

In 2007, the UK government banned smoking in enclosed public places and within workspaces. However, the laws that apply to cigarettes do not apply to vapes. This doesn’t mean you can vape anywhere - it just means the rules are different, and you’ll find they vary from venue to venue. 

Vaping in public places 

There are no general laws against vaping in public places, although it is always a good idea to be considerate of those around you. Certain public places may have their own rules against vaping. Always check the guidance before vaping if you are uncertain. If you do want to use your vape, you could find a suitable place where it is safe to do so.

Vaping indoors

There are no specific laws for vaping indoors. If you want to vape in an indoor public place, check with the establishment first and ask about their own rules. 

Vaping at work

Industries and workplaces often have different rules and restrictions. Usually, you won’t be able to vape indoors at work, but there may be a designated outdoor area where you can vape. We recommend checking the rules before vaping at work - even if you see someone else vaping. Read our guide to vaping at work to learn more.

Vaping on public transport

While there is no UK vaping law for public transport, many train and bus companies implement policies prohibiting vaping. For example, in 2015, many private UK train companies brought in new guidance preventing the use of vapes on board. As for vaping on planes and in airports, vaping is usually prohibited. However, you might be able to utilise an airport smoking lounge - follow the link for more information.

Vaping in pubs

UK law doesn’t restrict vaping in pubs, but many establishments treat vaping as they would smoking. Adult users may need to vape outdoors in a designated smoking area. Some pubs might allow indoor vaping, so check the pub’s rules before using your device. Read more on is vaping allowed in pubs in our detailed guide.  

Vaping while driving

You should not vape while you are driving. Adult vapers could receive up to nine points on their licence and a £2,500 fine if they vape while driving². UK law treats vaping like any other electronic device, such as a phone. By focusing on driving only, you can save your vape for when you have arrived at your destination.

Vaping at sporting stadiums

Vaping is not allowed in Premier League stadiums. Adult users cannot leave the stadium to use their device and then re-enter, either. Some clubs may eject supporters from the stadium if they are caught vaping, while others might take away season tickets. Vaping may be permitted further down the football pyramid, but the rules differ from club to club.

Many major sporting stadiums, from The Oval to Twickenham, won’t allow vaping. Check the guidance with the venue. Get in touch with them directly before visiting the stadium. 

Learn more about vaping in sporting stadiums.

Vaping on a cruise ship

The rules for vaping on cruises vary by cruise liner. Some cruises provide designated smoking and vaping areas, while others might allow guests to vape in their cabins. Check the rules before boarding with your device. You should also pay close attention to the regulations in each country you travel to. 

Vaping at Christmas Markets 

Christmas markets can set their own rules around vaping, so it’s advisable to check beforehand. There might be information online for some markets. However, if the rules aren’t explicitly stated, it’s worth checking with the organisers before vaping. 

Can you take vapes to festivals?

Outdoor festivals usually permit vaping, but you should check the specific rules beforehand. Festivals may restrict vaping in enclosed spaces, including big top arenas, so it’s important to be mindful of the specific venue. To find out more, read our vaping at festivals guide. 

Heated tobacco restrictions

The UK’s smoking ban does not cover heated tobacco products like IQOS. That’s because heated tobacco systems heat tobacco instead of burning it. However, some public places may restrict heated tobacco products. Adult users of heated tobacco should always check the rules before using a heated tobacco device. 

Heated tobacco products are not risk-free and provide nicotine, which is addictive. Smoke-free products are not alternatives to quitting and are not designed as cessation aids. The best decision any adult smoker can make is to quit tobacco and nicotine consumption altogether.



This article is for general information and educational purposes. Some of the information in this article is based on external, third-party sources and we make no representations or warranties of any kind regarding the accuracy, validity or completeness of such information.  

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