The reason given by the Conservatives is that children and young people need protecting from harm. “Secondhand smoke is dangerous for anyone, but children are especially vulnerable, because they breathe more rapidly and have less developed airways, lungs and immune systems,” they say. “Over 80% of cigarette smoke is invisible and opening windows does not remove its harmful effect.”
Some vapers dual-fuel, vape and smoke, and so this aims to set out what you will and won’t be able to do from next month.
Although reputable electronic cigarette vendors have a self-imposed ban on selling to under-18s, it will now be illegal for anyone to sell e-cigs or juice to anybody less than 18 years of age. Also, it is also going to be illegal for an adult to buy vaping equipment or liquids for under-18s. There is concern that this condemns smoking teens to cigarettes but politicians believe they can use traditional nicotine replacement products instead.
Private vehicles must now be smoke-free if it is enclosed, there is more than one person in it and one of them is under-18. The law will be broken if the driver does not stop smoking or fails to prevent a passenger from smoking. These rules do not apply to vaping although it is difficult to see how a police officer is going to be able to tell the difference from a moving vehicle. It is likely that vapers may find themselves being inconvenienced by this move.
Smokers will find themselves £50 poorer per offence – although officers have the discretion to issue a warning or refer the matter to court. Vapers will be breaking the law if a passenger is smoking.
Soft-top convertibles and coupes with the roof down and stowed are classed as open vehicles. In such a case the law will not apply and no law broken. Not so for open sunroofs – the vehicle will still be classified as enclosed in this case. The law still applies to the car even if the smoker is sitting with the door open.
Motorhomes, campervans and caravans also fall under the new law while they are on the road. They become exempt once stopped and being used as accommodation.
With such a mishmash of exemptions it is inevitable that many vapers are going to be inconvenienced. We would love to hear your story if it happens to you.