Should vaping and e-cigarette rules in pubs be relaxed?

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Vaping rules: experts call for the reconsideration and debate of blanket bans on vaping (Image: Lindsay Fox at
Vaping rules: experts call for the reconsideration and debate of blanket bans on vaping (Image: Lindsay Fox at
After MPs called for debate on the 'liberalisation' of restrictions on vaping and e-cigarettes, The Morning Advertiser asked whether this would be a welcome move for the pub industry.

The House of Commons' Science and Technology Committee recently stated that forcing vapers into smoking shelters could undermine their attempts to quit and has called for reconsideration and debate of blanket bans on e-cigarette use, which would require “non-vapers having to accommodate vapers”.

Committee chair and former health minister Norman Lamb MP said: “E-cigarettes are less harmful than conventional cigarettes, but current policy and regulations do not sufficiently reflect this and businesses, transport providers and public places should stop viewing conventional and e-cigarettes as one and the same. There is no public health rationale for doing so.”

However would taking a more relaxed attitude to vaping and e-cigarette use in pubs be a welcome move?

Social media response

A poll conducted by The Morning Advertiser​ this week revealed that the vast majority of respondents opposed a relaxation of legislation to allow vaping and e-cigarette usage in pubs, with 73% stating that they oppose the idea.

‘Flexibility for businesses’

UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The current system allows for businesses to devise their own policies​ regarding vaping on the premises and gives them the freedom to either permit or ban it.

“This provides flexibility for businesses that legislation, obviously, will not and we are not aware of any issues from our members or evidence that this causes any friction with customers.

“The health benefits or drawbacks of vaping continue to be investigated and the Science and Technology Committee has stated that efforts to ban or marginalise vaping will only undermine people’s efforts to quit smoking.

“Public Health England has also stated that vaping is not a gateway to tobacco.

“Unless there arises clear evidence to suggest a ban is needed, there should be no knee-jerk legislation to ban vaping in pubs.”

Pubco and brewer Fuller’s made the decision to ban e-cigarettes in all of its managed houses in 2013.

Commenting when the policy was announced, a spokesman for Fuller’s said: “We feel that, for non-smoking customers, seeing a customer using one of these cigarettes is very disconcerting. Indeed, it is often hard to discern whether the cigarette being puffed on is real or electronic, which causes added anxiety for our guests.

“Asking our staff to police this puts added pressure on them – when they should be looking after the needs of the vast majority of customers that do not use this device.

“This was not a decision that we took lightly, but in light of the points above, we decided to no longer allow them in our managed pubs and hotels.”

Related topics: Health & safety

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