Legal advice

Vaping: what is the law for pubs?

By Poppleston Allen

- Last updated on GMT

Vaping: what is the law for pubs?

Related tags: Smoking, Nicotine

E-cigarettes are another example of operators taking charge and banning otherwise perfectly legal habits.

While the ban on smoking in enclosed or substantially enclosed places was introduced by the Health Act 2006, e-cigarettes are not covered by the legislation. The Welsh government had looked to introduce a ban on smoking e-cigarettes indoors via its Public Health Bill, however, it was announced in January that the proposals had been amended so that e-cigarettes would be permissible in wet-led pubs but not those serving food.

Nevertheless, the motion to approve the bill was not approved and, as a result, it was rejected in March 2016.

Many operators argue that you cannot be 100% sure of the substances being smoked through an e-cigarette or that they are generally a nuisance to other non-smoking customers and, therefore, choose to ban them. Once again, operators have the right to be able to make their own policies, but must be mindful of balancing the interests of their customers in order to avoid affecting levels of trade.

Ultimately, your premises is a private place of business and you, therefore, have the right to withdraw your permission for a particular individual to enter the premises providing it is on non-discriminatory grounds. If they attempt to enter or refuse to leave, they are committing a trespass.

Similarly, just because something may be legal, you are entitled to have your own policies and procedures that prohibit any such activity. The difficulty lies in managing customers’ expectations and any potential backlash, which can be particularly harmful in the current social media-dominated environment.

Related topics: Licensing law

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