A guide to vaping in hospitality establishments in the UK
Going to the pub, night club or a restaurant and being able to pull out your e-cigarette can be intoxicating (and that’s not just the beer you had there talking), but not all pubs and clubs will let you vape.
This isn’t a legal issue though. The Health Act of 2006, which banned smokers lighting up inside public buildings does not cover e-cigarettes, as e-cigs do not contain tobacco or burn anything, and they create vapour and not smoke. That means it is technically legal to use your e-cigarette anywhere.
But just because it’s legal doesn’t mean you can. Many places have a ban in place on all e-cigarettes, and you can get into real trouble if you start puffing away.
The good news is that with the popularity of e-cigarettes almost all venues will have already created a policy for vaping, so just ask the nearest available staff member and they should know.
Unfortunately, at the moment some of the biggest pub chains such as Wetherspoons and Mitchell and Butlers don’t allow e-cigarettes, as they say that the customers and staff get confused whether people are smoking or vaping.
However smaller chains or independent pubs can have different policies, so it is always good to check before you relegate yourself to the smoking section!
VAPOUR, NOT SMOKE
As an e-cigarette user, it can be rather annoying to be told not to vape inside, considering the vapour produced by e-cigarettes isn’t harmful to you or the people around you.
In fact Public Health England, the UK government body which focuses on national health issues, has said that to date there is no evidence whatsoever that 2nd hand vapour is harmful.
The NHS also states on their website that vapour is nothing to worry about, unlike 2nd hand smoke which can have a huge effect on people who breathe it in.
Knowing this, it can seem strange that pubs don’t want e-cig users to stay inside their pub!
VAPING IN PUBS, CLUBS AND RESTAURANTS
When you find a vape-friendly pub or venue that allows you to use your e-cigarette, there are still some rules you should follow if you want to be a good patron. It’s about common courtesy really!
- Don’t blow your vapour at other people – This one is pretty simple, but even though vapour is harmless it can be annoying for people around you if you are blowing it in their faces.
- Don’t create clouds of vapour – This isn’t the 1970’s anymore, where pubs were a cloud of smoke with a bar somewhere in the middle. When people walk into a pub or restaurant they don’t expect to walk through a fog of vapour!
- Ask the people you are with if they are ok with e-cigarettes – This shouldn’t be an issue as e-cigarettes won’t harm people (and most people will want you to use an e-cigarette rather than a cigarette) but if your vapour smells of pineapple and cucumber or has enveloped the entire table your friends might not want to sit in it.
BE DISCREET WHEN VAPING IN PUBS AND RESTAURANTS
You might have noticed a theme with the above rules - don’t make a spectacle of your vaping. In many pubs and restaurants e-cigarettes are allowed, but anything that disrupts other customers will be frowned upon.
When you are in an enclosed space like a pub, club or restaurant, creating clouds of vapour isn’t the most sociable thing you can do. If you are with people who understand then great, but if you are in mixed company it might be a good idea to go for a device that is a little more discreet.
Smaller e-cigarettes like ours - https://smoko.com/pages/e-cigarette-starter-kit-deals - only produce about the same amount of vapour as a cigarette would produce smoke, so there is no cloud of vapour to engulf the area. And due to the small amount of vapour produced the vapour is virtually odourless as well.
Another difference between e-cigarettes and the bigger vapourisers is e-cigarettes can fit into a pocket or handbag easily, so you don’t have to carry it around in your hand. If you are on a night out carrying around a big vapouriser can quickly become a hassle.
E-cigarettes were designed to help smokers get away from cigarettes, and for many people who have been struggling to quit smoking for years e-cigs are literally a life saver. It’s natural to want to show off your progress and the fact that you don’t smoke anymore by using your vapouriser. But just remember that the people around you might not have been struggling with cigarettes for years, so won’t appreciate your vapour the same way you do!
So always vape respectfully to those around you and abide by the rules of the venue you are in!