One of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to vaping is: where can I vape? While the rules around smoking are well known, it gets a lot less clear when it comes to vaping. Can you vape in a restaurant? How about at work?
While there are no concrete rules yet, a lot of research has been done into where people should and shouldn’t be allowed to vape. Here, we explain some of the key information.
Can I vape in public?
This one’s a bit of a no-brainer; yes, of course you can vape in public. However, what’s interesting is just how much healthier vaping is for the people around you than smoking.
Second-hand smoke has been proven to be inherently dangerous. Smoking tobacco in public isn’t banned, but research released by Cancer Research UK in 2016 stated that “breathing in other people’s smoke..can cause cancer”. It also said that second-hand smoke can increase a non-smoker’s chances of getting lung cancer by a quarter, and may also increase the risk of throat cancer.
We’ve written before about how much healthier vaping is for you than smoking, and the same is true of second-hand smoke vs e-cigarette vapour. The latest Public Health England research on second-hand vapour showed that there have been no identified health risks to bystanders. Furthermore, NHS UK states that any risk from passive vaping to bystanders is small relative to tobacco cigarettes. While it is recommended not to vape around people with asthma or lung conditions, for the most part, you can vape guilt-free!
How about indoors?
Again, when compared to smoking, vaping is far healthier. What’s more, it won’t leave that nasty smell of stale smoke behind when you’re finished. So if you feel like vaping at home, you can do so safe in the knowledge that it’s not harmful to your home or anyone in it.
But in terms of vaping in restaurants, at other people’s homes or in a pub, that’s down to the owner. There are no government guidelines around the use of e-cigarettes on private property, though plenty of bars, pubs and clubs do allow vaping on their premises. If you’re ever unsure, though, then you can always ask any establishment what their policy is.
Can I vape at work?
Vaping at work is very similar to vaping in a pub or at a restaurant; that is, every place will have its own rules. Always check with your employer before pulling your vape out at your desk.
However the future looks bright for vaping at work. Earlier this year the government published their tobacco control plan, which aims to reduce smoking in England. In it, they state that “e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than smoking tobacco,” adding “that e-cigarette use is not covered by smokefree legislation and should not routinely be included in the requirements of an organisation’s smokefree policy.”
ACAS, the organisation that provides free and impartial advice to employers on workplace related issues, also notes it “may be a concern that preventing the use of E-cigarettes at work may hinder those who use them to stop smoking”. What’s more, Public Health England are recommending that NHS patients should be allowed to vape in hospitals to help them stop smoking.
So for now, while there’s no universal answer to the question of when and where you can vape, both the government and health organisations recommend that vaping is far less harmful than smoking. The indications are that we are moving towards more relaxed regulations on vaping in public.