Vaping is becoming increasingly popular now as a safer alternative to cigarettes. Without the tar that regular cigarettes include, e-cigarettes are much safer than traditional methods of smoking and do not cause the feared secondhand smoking. Since e-cigarettes use liquid nicotine vapor without all of the carcinogens, they are generally considered much safer than traditional cigarettes. This, combined with the lack of unpleasant fumes and the link to lung cancer, makes vaping a much desired alternative to smoking. Unfortunately, it is unclear if there are any negative impacts to vaping, so legislation has come aboard to limit its usage in public areas.
Vaping in Public in the United States
In the United States, the ability to vape is regulated by city and in most places there are no national or statewide regulations on vaping. Most laws only talk about enclosed workplaces, bars, and restaurants instead of other places such as public transit and other types of buildings. Each state has different laws, and different municipalities have adopted still more stringent laws than their state has. Some states, however, forbid local governments from legislating the action of vaping more stringently than they do smoking.
Most U.S. cities allow vaping in bars, mostly to keep you on the stool. Some bars are only permitted to allow the use of e-cigarettes if 90% or more of their revenue comes from selling alcohol. Other cities count bars as ‘enclosed workplaces’ and prohibit vaping there, while others treat vapes as just another form of smoking and allow vaping inside of the designated smoking area of the bar.
Train stations, too, generally ban all forms of vaping and smoking. There may be a few exceptions, but at the current time it is unlikely that you will be able to vape on a train.
Most enclosed workplaces do not allow vaping on their premises. There are many exceptions, however, and it is probably worth asking about.
Public transport is generally not okay with vaping, but it is usually up to the driver or the company that they work for. Some may say yes while others may not allow it. Self-employed drivers, however, are allowed to make their own rules on who can and can not vape in their vehicles.
Anywhere outdoors is usually completely legal, unless on the grounds or parking lot of a place where taking a vape is illegal. Some city parks choose to prohibit the use of vaporizers on their land, but the streets are usually fair game. If you are thinking about vaping in the outdoor area of a restaurant, keep in mind that it may not be permitted since it counts as being inside of a restaurant.
As for buildings, it is usually fine. Some universities, especially state universities, prohibit vaping on their grounds, but others are okay with the use of e-cigarettes and vaporizers. Pre-schools, kindergartens, primary and secondary schools that minors attend definitely do not allow vaping on the grounds. Correctional facilities, both inside of them and out, do not permit vaping by anyone.
Most restaurants do not allow vaping. If in doubt, do not vape in smoke-free areas, and definitely don’t do it in play areas for children. Smoker’s sections almost always allow vaping inside of them.
Vaping in Public in Canada
In Ontario, e-cigarettes are illegal to use in most public places. This includes workplaces (and even vape shops), schools, apartments, and many more areas. All of the businesses where vaping is banned are required to post a sign, so all you need to do it check for one. Vapers can be fined for vaping within 60 feet of a doorway, a playground, or some other areas.
In Alberta, e-cigarettes and vaporizers are banned everywhere that tobacco cigarettes are banned, with the exception of standalone, enclosed retail vape shops.
In Calgary, with the exception of vaping stores, vaping is banned in trains, taxis, buses, workplaces and indoor public spaces. They’re also prohibited within five meters of playgrounds, outdoor pools, skating rinks, sports fields, skate parks and entryways to public spaces.
In British Columbia, vaping is now illegal on school property and health board property.
In Manitoba, it is now against the law to vape inside of public spaces (including bars, restaurants, and workplaces). This means that vaping is now banned everywhere that cigarettes are, with the exception of vape shops.
In Nunavut, it is up to the business owner on whether or not you are allowed to vape on their premises.
The Smoke-Free Places Act has banned vaping in many public places across Nova Scotia. Now it is illegal to vape in bars, train stations, public transport of any kind, enclosed indoor workplaces, places of education (pre-schools, daycares, schools, community colleges, university, and school grounds), libraries, art galleries, museums, healthcare facilities, cinemas, theaters, game rooms, gyms, indoor recreation areas, places of sales, laundromats, casinos, restaurants, and places of rehabilitation. You can vape on the streets outside, but you must not be within 4 meters of windows, air intake vents or entrances to places of employment.
In New Brunswick, vaping is illegal near outdoor public facilities where food is served (and within 3 meters of the patio’s boundary), within 9 meters of doorways, windows, and air intake vents of enclosed public spaces and workplaces, within 20 meters of outdoor children’s equipment and outdoor public sports areas, within 9 meters of an outdoor public walking trail, and within most areas of provincial parks.
In Yukon, it is up to the business owner on whether or not you are allowed to vape on their premises.
Due to bill 44, vaping is now illegal in many places in Quebec. This includes bars (despite their protests), all schools, daycares, adult education centers, professional training centers, and outdoor café terraces. Not even vaping shops are exempted from this bill. The use of vaporizers are banned when they are within 9 meters of a doorway that leads to an enclosed public space. Vaping is also banned in vehicles carrying those who are 16 years of age and younger.
Saskatchewan bans the use of e-cigarettes in public places that are owned by the city, and soon plan to extend the ban to all places where smoking is prohibited. This would include most indoor public places and restrict vaping even more so than before.
Newfoundland and Labrador legislation dictates that e-cigarettes will be held to the same restrictions as tobacco, meaning that their use is prohibited inside of indoor public spaces (including vape shops).
In Prince Edward Island, e-cigarettes are banned in the same places as regular cigarettes. Now it is illegal to vape in bars, train stations, public transport of any kind, enclosed indoor workplaces, places of education (pre-schools, daycares, schools, community colleges, university, and school grounds), libraries, art galleries, museums, healthcare facilities, cinemas, theaters, game rooms, gyms, indoor recreation areas, places of sales, laundromats, casinos, restaurants, and places of rehabilitation. You can vape on the streets outside, but you must not be within 4 meters of windows, air intake vents or entrances to places of employment.
In the Northwest Territories, it is up to the business owner on whether or not you are allowed to vape on their premises.
Read more about e-cigarette products in Canada.
Vaping in Public in the United Kingdom
For the vast majority of cases, the UK largely allows individual businesses to decide whether or not to allow its customers to vape inside. This is great news for bars and pubs, since it gives them the choice of whether or not to serve customers who vape.
Bars: Most bars in the UK allow vaping indoors.
In train stations, e-cigarettes are usually banned. Northern, Virgin and Cross Country are train stations that have banned vaping, while Southeastern still permits it. Most train stations will include a sign (right next to the no-smoking sign) to indicate that vaping is not allowed.
The workplace: Legal to use, it is the business owner’s decision if they allow vaping on their premises.
Public transport: Generally, bus stations and subways do not permit vaping. East Coast Rail is completely fine with vaping at their stations, but National Express Coaches and Edinburgh’s Lothian Buses do not. All London buses have banned vaping.
On the streets, vaping is completely legal: unless you are in a public park or another area where vaporizers are prohibited. If they are prohibited in an area outdoors, there will be a sign posted to notify you of it.
Buildings: Cinemas, museums, galleries, almost all airports and the theater are generally against it in their policies.
Restaurants: It depends. Some places will allow it, such as Butler’s Wharf Cop House, but others, such as KFC and Starbucks, ban it. Many states treat e-cigarettes just like regular cigarettes, so, if in doubt, just pay attention to the ‘no-smoking’ signs.
Learn more about e-cigarettes in UK.
Vaping in Public in Australia
Some areas of Australia have limitations on vaping in public, and others seem to be more lax about the action. The laws vary widely by states and territories, so it is important to know the laws for vaping in public in each one.
In Australian Capital Territory, e-cigarettes are legal to use, but it is the business owner’s decision if they allow vaping on their premises. It is also illegal to vape in the car while anyone under the age of 19 is inside of the car.
In New South Wales, they are legal to use, though it is the business owner’s decision if they allow vaping on their premises. If vaping in vehicles, there must not be a child under the age of 16 present.
In the Northern Territory, if you want to bring nicotine from outside, you will be required to have a permit. Still, however, it is legal to vape wherever you like in public.
In Queensland, it is illegal to use an e-cig that contains nicotine. Vaping in smoke-free areas, which are designated by signs, is illegal. Smoke-free areas include pubs, clubs, restaurants (indoors or outdoors) and workplaces, within 5 meters of hospitals and health facilities, in vehicles with children under the age of 16 present, or within 5 meters of schools of any kind. After September 2016, this law will be expanded to include public swimming pools, public transport waiting points, outdoor pedestrian malls, and national and city parks. Local governments have the freedom to further legislate on the legality of vaping in public.
In South Australia, it is up to the business owner on whether or not you are allowed to vape on their premises.
In Tasmania, vaping is legal in all areas. Legislation about vaping in public is being discussed, but for the moment it is completely fine.
In Victoria, vaping in smoke-free areas, designated by signs, is illegal. This includes enclosed restaurants, hotels, clubs, malls, most enclosed workplaces, and covered public transport waiting sites. It is also banned in vehicles carrying those who are 17 years of age and younger.
In Western Australia, it is illegal to use e-cigs anywhere that smoking is banned. Smoking is banned in enclosed workplaces, theaters, shopping centers, cinemas, pubs, clubs, and restaurants. It is also banned in vehicles carrying those who are 16 years of age and younger. One exception to the rule of vaping in theaters is that an entertainer may do so for the purposes of a performance as long as the owner of the building is consented about it prior to the act.
Due to vaping being a safer alternative to cigarettes, its popularity is rising. E-cigarettes are a much better alternative to traditional cigarettes because they do not include the toxic chemicals that are found in them. Since they let off water vapor instead of carcinogens, they don’t cause secondhand smoking, lung cancer, or unpleasant fumes. Unfortunately, it is unclear if there are any negative impacts to vaping, so legislation has come aboard to limit its usage in public areas. Many countries don’t allow the action within public places, while others leave it up to the individual business owners. Either way, remember to pay attention to the signs and use common sense when vaping out in public. Check out the best e-cigarettes in Australia.