Making the switch to vaping from cigarettes is a big decision and you’ll find it opens up locations where you can take a break and vape, as opposed to smoke.

This is because e-cigs release water vapour rather than harmful tobacco chemicals, which are damaging to the health of others around you and therefore come with greater restrictions.

So, where exactly can you vape e-cigs in the UK? Let’s get right into it now.

Where can you vape?

  • Restaurants*
  • Pubs
  • At work (individual policies)
  • Public spaces/open spaces

The UK is one of the most vape friendly countries you’ll find and if you’re in an open-air environment, you’ll more than likely be permitted to vape. Walking along the street out shopping, sat in the park and designated areas at work are all safe for vaping.

All pubs and restaurants decide themselves whether you can vape on their premises. It is legal but not required for them to allow as a business. At work, it is down to the employer’s policies so always check before you vape at work, indoors or out.

In essence, it’s about being considerate and aware of your surroundings. Ask yourself if you’d be happy for someone else to vape here if you didn’t vape and check with who you're with when you find yourself unsure.

Where can’t you vape?

  • Trains
  • Buses
  • Airplanes and airports
  • Sports stadiums
  • Hospitals

These locations basically operate a blanket ban so you know where you stand at all times. Heathrow do however have a dedicated vaping area in Terminal 4. Some airlines don’t allow you to bring e-cigarettes onto a flight so it’s good practise to get in the habit of checking this before you pack. This is due to the lithium batteries which are classed as a security risk.

Why are e-cigs banned in these instances? A lot of the time it’s coming down to the comfort of others who will still be able to smell e-liquids and those who may confuse them with cigarettes. In company, it’s polite to ask to vape if you’re socialising with non-vapers. Typically, it won’t be a problem.

Key takeaways

  • The UK has a huge vaping community
  • Public e-cigarette use is permitted in open spaces and generally follows the lines of common sense
  • The three main sectors to ban vaping are sports stadiums, business and transport systems Generally private business owners are far more lenient to vaping than large, international companies
  • Check here on the site for more in-depth information - ‘no one size fits all’ 

*Wetherspoons, Starbucks, KFC, All Bar One and Caffe Nero do not allow vaping on their premises.


You must be over the age of 18 to vape and use e-cigarettes and when you’re purchasing you should be asked to provide proof of age if in any doubt. If you are found vaping under the age of 18 the seller could receive a criminal record and fine.


In Wales, they’re generally applying the same laws as you’re used to with tobacco. If in doubt, don’t vape until you’ve checked with someone employed at a venue or transport service so you don’t unexpectedly cause an issue or get removed without a refund.

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