Vaping and Driving: Is it Illegal?
One of the more common questions about vaping concerns driving – can you vape and drive?
We’ve seen a number of dramatic headlines recently, stating that vaping while driving is against the law and could result in a fine, points on your license, or even a ban.
But is this the full truth?
Is it actually illegal to vape and drive in the UK?
The short answer is – no. Vaping while driving, while not advisable, is actually in itself not an illegal act. However, the law becomes a little more complicated when you consider the law against driving without due care and attention. Vaping can be seen as a distraction, especially if your vape is producing large clouds of vapour.
The vapour from your e-cigarette can reduce or impair visibility. This means, by law, vaping in the car can be seen as an obstruction, and you could be punished under the appropriate laws for this. In short, anything that causes a distraction should be avoided while driving, and some forms of vaping can fall into this category.
How to safely vape while driving
We’ll start by saying that driving requires your full attention. Your eyes should be on the road and your hands on the wheel, and you should be in full control of the vehicle at all times. If you are not, you will risk a fine, points on your license or a ban or worse – an accident.
Officer Sergeant Carl Knapp, of the Sussex Road Policing Unit, confirmed that the act vaping while driving is not illegal in itself. He offered some advice for anyone who does decide to vape and drive:
“I strongly advise people to pay 100 percent attention to the roads when driving as anything that takes that attention away has the potential of severe consequences. There are no laws prohibiting vaping, however, you need to be in full and proper control of your vehicle at all times.
If you are going to vape I advise that you open your windows and blow the vapour directly out, just ensure that you are in full control of your vehicle before doing so.”
Some further tips for safety while vaping and driving are:
Have your vape fully set up before your journey.
On the road is absolutely not the time to be messing around with vape cartridges, e-liquids and refills. If you are planning on vaping in the car, make sure your vape is completely set up and ready to use before you even get in the car.
Consider switching to a PG e-liquid
If you are using a VG e-liquid, you are going to experience a much thicker vapour cloud which will impact visibility in the car. If you are going to be using your vape in the car – or if any passengers are going to be vaping, we’d recommend switching to a PG, low vapour option. You can even have a couple of different vaping setups – one for the car, and one for general use.
Keep the window open
The most important thing to consider if you’re vaping while driving is the vapour clouds that can form and obstruct your vision. Therefore, if you or anyone else in the car is going to be using a vape, be sure to have the window open. This will allow the vapour to escape the car and will prevent clouds from obstructing your vision.
Use your discretion
If at any point you feel yourself become distracted when vaping in the car, stop. Your safety and the safety of others around you comes first, and you should never risk safety for the sake of your vape. Vape only when you are absolutely certain that you can do so without distraction.