Smoking & The Law

In the UK, introduced into the law, in the health act of 2006, was a ban on the use of tobacco-based cigarettes in public places. Since then, the law requires virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces to be smoke free. The only exception to this rule is of course the bar area in the houses of commons and lords!

What The Law Says

The act was introduced in response to the effect tobacco cigarettes were having on smoker’s health and those around them. It was reported that cigarettes cause over 100,000 deaths a year in the UK as lit tobacco produces Tar, carcinogens, carbon monoxide and up to 4000 other toxicities.  Chapter 28 of the smoking ban defines smoking as; “Smoking tobacco or anything which contains tobacco, or  any other substance”. Smoking includes being in possession of lit tobacco or of anything lit which contains tobacco, or being in possession of any other lit substance in a form in which it could be smoked.  This means that smoking includes the smoking of cigarettes, pipes, cigars, herbal cigarettes and waterpipes, often known as hookah or shisha pipes.

The Use of Electronic Cigarettes

According to the law, the user of an electronic cigarette is EXCLUDED from this Act as the device does not contain tobacco; it is not lit and does not produce smoke as a result of burning substances.  The electronic cigarette can be used, with the proprietor’s permission, in any premises that was affected by the introduction of the health act 2006.” Although users of electronic cigarettes are exempt from this law, it is prudent to note that, while in what is deemed as a public place, such as a pub, restaurant or cinema, permission still needs to be sought in order to be able to use your electronic cigarette.  Since the use of electronic cigarettes is still in its infancy, there is still very little known about their use.  Therefore, the owners of some premises might still be reluctant to allow the use of electronic cigarettes.

Tobacco Products Directive 2014/40(EU) Article 20

Tobacco Products Directive 2014/40(EU) was adopted by the European Parliament on 3rd April 2014. Its implementation is underway, including that of Article 20, the section pertaining to electronic cigarettes. It has some specific consequences for the way in which electronic cigarettes and e-liquid may be manufactured and sold. Individual Member State transposition leading to enforcement is starting in many EU Member States already. In the UK the Department of Health (DH) is the body responsible for implementation, and although the path to implementation has not been clarified, the TPD is required by the European Parliament to come into force for e-cigarettes from 20th May 2016. DH have stated an intention to meet this target.

The main points of the TPD in relation to e-cigarettes are as follows:

  1. E-cigarettes may be sold as licensed medical products, in which case they are not subject to the limitations imposed by the TPD.
  2. E-cigarettes and e-liquid not sold as medical products are considered to be tobacco products, and may be sold subject to TPD regulation.
  3. All products must be notified to the competent authority (DH) 6 months prior to being placed on the market. Products already on the market on 20th May 2016 must be notified within 6 months of that date. The notification procedure is complex and requires substantial testing and technical work for every product.
  4. E-liquid may only be sold in pre-filled cartridges containing 2ml or less, or dedicated refill containers containing 10ml or less.
  5. E-liquid may not exceed nicotine content of 20mg/ml.
  6. Only high purity ingredients that do not pose a risk to human health may be used in e-liquid.
  7. Consistent nicotine doses must be delivered in consistent operating conditions.
  8. E-cigarettes and refill containers must be child and tamper proof, protected against breakage and leakage, and when refillable there must be a mechanism that ensures leak free refilling.
  9. Information leaflets must be included with all e-cigarette and e-liquid products.
  10. Ingredients should be listed in descending order of weight, with a notification of nicotine delivery per dose.
  11. Promotion and advertising of e-cigarettes by print, radio, televisual or public event media is prohibited.
  12. Submission of comprehensive sales and marketing data is required


The information contained above was correct at the time of writing and we will endeavour to ensure that this information is updated to include new legislation as it evolves. We cannot however be held responsible for any loss or damage that results and you should always ensure that your actions are in line with the law of land.