The law on vaping – everything you need to know

A man vaping

Nearly 3 million people use e cigarettes in the UK, but the way people vape has recently changed.

As of 20 May 2016, new EU legislation* on vaping now officially classes e-cigarettes and e-liquids as a tobacco-related product. (*These rules still apply in the UK until Britain officially leaves the EU.)

Size and strength

The legislation allow places limits on the size of eliquid containers, so that the maximum size container available to buy will be set at 10ml. The maximum strength of eliquid has also been capped at 20mg per millilitre. These changes will come into effect in 2017, giving time for businesses to sell old stock.

Where am I allowed to vape?

You may have seen people puffing away on their e-cigarette in all manner of places and wondered what the exact law is that governs e-cigarette use. As of 2015, vaping regulations were tightened so that vaping is now in fact banned in most enclosed public places.

Many restaurants, train companies and airlines have specific policies that do not allow e-cigarette use, although there are plenty of pubs and restaurants who will allow you to vape in the premises. If you’re unsure, always check first with a member of staff before you start vaping.

Vaping laws around the world

In many countries the legal status of e-cigarettes is still pending. The current regulation of e-cigarettes varies from country to country, although it is worth noting that regulation is gradually getting tighter on the whole.

Most countries within the EU are subject to the same regulations as described above. However, the strictness of these regulations differs in each country. If you are unsure of the law on e-cigarettes in a particular country then it is worth double-checking before you go ahead and start vaping, on holiday or otherwise.

The current status in the US is similar to that in the UK, where the use and sale of e-cigarettes is deemed legal. In Canada, despite the fact that the sale of e-cigarettes is technically illegal, they are still commonly available across the country.

There is no direct law or regulation for e-cigarettes in Australia, although there are a number of laws that govern the regulation of poisons and tobacco control, some of which may apply to e-cigarettes. Specific regulations are currently being developed.

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