Are Vapes Illegal in UK?

Is vaping illegal in UK? If you’re unsure of the legality of using vapes, and you’re keen to avoid getting into trouble, then naturally you’ll want to know the answer to this one!

Vapes have become incredibly popular in recent years – and for good reason. Not only do they provide a healthier, tastier alternative to smoking cigarettes, but e-cigs are also much cheaper than their combustible counterparts, helping some users save thousands of pounds every year. 

But despite the fact vapes now help more people quit than any other stop-smoking aid, this hasn’t prevented a swathe of negative media attention, with endless headlines about the mythical “child vaping epidemic” and the unconnected “popcorn lung” regularly popping up like an annoying game of whack-a-mole!

With all this bad press taking its toll vaping’s image, it’s little wonder some people are unsure about the legality of using e-cigs. So, is vaping illegal in the UK? Let’s find out…

is it legal to vape in the UK

Is Vaping Illegal in UK?

The short answer to this question is no, vapes are absolutely not illegal in the UK. As long as you’re over the age of 18, you’re free to vape as and when you please.

In fact, as well as it being legal to vape, there are no laws in place which dictate where you can and can’t use your e-cigarette. Unlike smokers, who are prevented from lighting up in public places, as long as you’re not on private property you can use your e-cig wherever you like. That’s not to say you have a free pass to blow massive plumes of vapour towards strangers in public as we should always be mindful of others, but you catch the drift!

is it illegal to vape in UK -- where is it allowed

Where is Vaping Not Allowed?

So now we’ve established vaping isn’t illegal and we’re free to vape in any public place (whilst still being respectful to those around us), you might think you can use your e-cig anywhere you like. But before you start cloud-chasing on the bus or blowing your best Os in your local library, hold your horses a little!

You see, while you’re permitted to use your vape in public without fear of getting into trouble, that doesn’t mean you can just vape anywhere you feel like it. On private premises such as restaurants and pubs, the rules on vaping are at the owner’s discretion. So if they’ve put a ban in place then unfortunately you won’t be able to use your e-cig and if you do you should expect a strong ticking off!

is vaping illegal in the UK

Purchasing TPD-Compliant Vapes

So now we know it’s legal to vape so long as you’re over 18 and you’re not using your e-cig in a private place where they’re not permitted, the last thing to cover is the Tobacco Product Directive’s (TPD’s) regulations. 

In 2017, the TBD introduced a set of rules on the sale of e-cigs. Among them are rules that limit the size of tanks, as well as the amount of e-liquid and nicotine that’s allowed to be sold with vape devices.

These rules stipulate that no vape tank should hold more than 2ml of e-2. The same limit also applies to the amount of vape juice allowed in any pre-filled device.

That’s why you should always be wary if you see disposable vapes with massive puff counts advertised. Some disposables come with huge 3,500 puff counts, but these are not TBD-compliant and the retailer is actually breaking the law by selling them (please note that this only refers to vapes with nicotine. If your vape is nicotine-free then the TPD’s restrictions don’t apply).

If you spot any of these devices then you’re best steering clear as the seller clearly doesn’t care too much about the regulations that are in place.

So that’s pretty much all there is to know about the legality of vapes. Is vaping illegal in UK? Absolutely not! As long as you’re over the age of 18 and you’re vaping TPD-compliant products away from private places where the owner’s banned the use of e-cigs, you’re free to enjoy your vape without worrying about getting into trouble. 

Travelling abroad anytime soon? Then check out our “Where is Vaping Banned?” guide where you can see whether the country you’re travelling to prohibits the use of vape devices.