Published on: 15/01/2024
ANTI-SMOKING RULES AND ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES: WHERE CAN YOU VAPE IN 2024?
When the e-cig product was launched on the world market, the first advertising campaigns promoted the electronic cigarette as a device that could be used in any place and circumstance .
To date, things have changed a bit, but there are no clear laws that allow consumers to understand where it is possible to vape . The doubts are justified, in part, by the continuous evolution of current regulations, even if in one’s conscience it is possible to understand when it is not advisable to turn on one’s e-cig.
It is in fact likely that the device is loaded with liquids containing a high percentage of aroma in the base liquid and that the smell is unpleasant to those around it. Furthermore, it is possible to use nicotine bases which, even more so, could annoy non-vapers/smokers .
It is therefore important to try to clarify and get straight to the point: where can you vape an electronic cigarette in 2024?
In the next paragraphs we will try to give a clear answer to this question, reporting information relating to the anti-smoking regulations of the most frequented public and private places , including the main means of transport.
Amendment 4.25: the regulatory change for electronic cigarettes
As is known, electronic cigarettes are widely considered as an alternative to tobacco smoking that allows smokers to change their habits gradually and reduce health damage. On the other hand, various research seems to demonstrate that e-cigs can be up to 95% less harmful than e-cigs .
Unfortunately, this information was gleaned over years of study, and in the early days, vaping was sometimes considered as dangerous as smoking. For this reason, even if it may seem strange to you, until 2013 the electronic cigarette was subject to the same bans as for cigarettes: in other words, according to the Sirchia law, vaping was prohibited like smoking in all places open to the public.
Fortunately, the error was understood , so much so that on 23 October 2013 the deputies approved amendment 4.25. This amendment removes the last part of paragraph 10 bis of article 51 of the Sirchia law. Precisely the one that applied the same rules aimed at protecting the health of non-smokers as for tobacco to electronic cigarettes.
In fact, that comparison made no sense to exist: the combustion of tobacco produces around 4000 toxic substances, of which at least 400 are carcinogenic , while steam does NOT! Breathing the vapor of e-cigarette liquids certainly does not have the same effect as breathing passive smoke.
The Sirchia law in detail
The Sirchia law, named after the Minister of Health who promoted it in 2003, is a legislation that regulates the ban on smoking in public and private places open to the public in Italy . The purpose of the law is to protect the health of non-smokers and reduce the risks deriving from exposure to passive smoking.
This legislation provides that smoking is prohibited :
- in places of collective use, such as offices, schools, hospitals, cinemas, theatres, museums, etc.;
- in public and private means of transport, such as buses, trains, planes, taxis, etc.;
- in premises intended for the administration of food and drinks, such as bars, restaurants, pizzerias, etc., unless they are equipped with special separate and ventilated spaces for smokers;
- in rooms used for sporting, recreational or cultural activities, such as gyms, discos, gaming rooms, etc., unless they are equipped with special separate and ventilated spaces for smokers.
Anyone who violates the smoking ban is subject to an administrative fine ranging from 27.50 to 275 euros . Furthermore, the owners or managers of premises where smoking is prohibited have the obligation to display information signs on the ban and to prevent or report violations. In case of non-compliance, they are liable to an administrative fine of between 220 and 2,200 euros and suspension of activity for up to 30 days.
The Sirchia law has had positive effects on public health and the environment . According to data from the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, from 2005 to 2010 there were approximately 9,000 fewer deaths due to myocardial infarction and approximately 1,000 fewer deaths due to cerebral stroke among non-smokers. Furthermore, the amount of carbon monoxide and particulate matter in the air of public places has been reduced.
The Sirchia law was one of the first anti-smoking measures adopted in Europe and in the world . Today many countries have followed Italy’s example and have introduced similar or more restrictive regulations to combat the phenomenon of smoking and its negative consequences.
Vaping in public places: freedom of managers and common sense
Currently, according to Italian law, vaping is prohibited only in certain public places where, due to the need to safeguard maximum health, or due to the presence of individuals worthy of special protection, such as minors, the e-cigarette is considered a potential danger.
Here are some examples :
- institutions dedicated to public education, such as primary and secondary schools;
- employment centres;
- juvenile correctional institutions.
And in other places open to the public, such as restaurants, pubs and bars?
Well, you should know that in these places there is no ban expressly established by law, but the legislation leaves full freedom to the managers of the places themselves to prohibit vaping .
Normally, this choice should be indicated with appropriate signs, but this is not always the case. For this reason, if you find yourself in such places and want to vape, we recommend that you ask the owner or manager for information before taking your electronic cigarette out of your pocket .
One final note: Even when you are free to use your e-cig indoors, always use common sense . You understand that the people around you may not like the idea of having steam emitted from your device in their faces.
If you have a small, discreet e-cig you might even think about taking small puffs once in a while. But, if your device produces a lot of vapor, like those designed for lung vaping, try to avoid using them. You can always decide to temporarily leave the room to enjoy vaping without being a nuisance to those around you.
Restrictions on vaping in public places: where it is prohibited and where it is allowed
Are you wondering what the consequences could be if you are caught vaping in one of the places where electronic cigarettes are prohibited by Italian law?
Since this is an administrative offence, like the consumption of cigarettes in places where smoking is prohibited, you would be forced to pay a fine which, according to current legislation, can reach a maximum of 550 euros .
The same, however, does not apply to places where the owner has decided at his discretion to prohibit vaping. In this case, in fact, you are not breaking any law , but only a rule imposed by a private individual. In other words, you cannot be fined.
However, it goes without saying that if you break this rule, the least you can expect is a ‘punch down’ (metaphorical, of course) from the owner. Avoid such problems: don’t use the e-cigarette unless you are 100% sure you won’t bother anyone .
Vaping on board: the new rules on trains, planes and ships
If initially some transport companies allowed the use of electronic cigarettes , today vaping is no longer allowed inside trains, planes and ships .
Major Italian railway trains such as Trenitalia, Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori and Trenord have banned the use of vaping devices. The same thing applies to many national and intercontinental airlines with the exception, in rare cases and only at the discretion of the captain, of the use of electronic cigarettes that do not produce vapor.
As far as ships are concerned, however, it is possible to use an e-cigarette in the designated outdoor spaces dedicated to smokers . Remember, however, that each company has its own rules, so it is always better to ask the on-board staff for clarification before running into any unpleasant surprises.
All e-liquids cannot therefore be used during your travels, especially if you travel by train or plane. But what does the law provide regarding vaping inside your vehicle ? Terpy ‘s blog also tried to answer this question.
The electronic cigarette while driving: between uncertainties and possible restrictions
Many wonder if it is possible to vape an electronic cigarette in the car, even while driving. The doubt is legitimate since Italian law has not yet expressed a clear opinion on the matter.
What is known is that with legislative decree number 6 of 12 January 2016 , the ban on smoking inside vehicles was established. However, this ban only concerned two very specific circumstances:
- presence of children under 18 years of age inside the vehicle;
- transport of pregnant women.
It is true that so far this ban has not been extended to electronic cigarettes , perhaps because there are currently still many conflicting opinions regarding the healthiness of e-cigs.
Many still wonder whether e-cigarette liquid is bad for you or not, regardless of the use of a liquid composed of a base with nicotine . Furthermore, the legislation that bans smoking in vehicles in certain circumstances does not take into consideration the Highway Code and its anti-smoking regulations .
It is possible that decrees will soon be expressed which will integrate the current law and the anti-smoking law of the Highway Code. This could lead to considering the gestures and dexterity of both the normal and the electronic cigarette as inadequate, as they are a strong element of distraction while driving.
So what happened for mobile phones could also happen for vaping devices .
The question of where e-cigarette vaping is allowed in 2024 is still a matter of debate and uncertainty.
While in the past the first advertising campaigns promoted the e-cig as a device that could be used anywhere, today the current regulations and awareness of the potential disturbance to others have led to greater regulation .
Amendment 4.25 of 2013 modified the provisions that applied the same anti-smoking rules to electronic cigarettes as for tobacco. This recognition of the differences between e-cigarette vapor and tobacco smoke has led to greater freedom of vaping in some public places .
However, it is important to note that venue managers have the right to ban vaping within their establishments, even if there is no clear legal provision prohibiting it. Therefore, it is advisable to ask the owners for information before vaping in places such as restaurants or bars.
The restrictions on vaping also extend to modes of transport such as trains, planes and ships, where e-cigarette use is prohibited in most cases. However, rules may vary between different companies and it is always best to find out before travelling.
Even regarding the use of electronic cigarettes inside the car, the rules are not yet well defined. Although smoking is prohibited inside vehicles in the presence of minors or pregnant women, there are no specific provisions for the use of e-cigs. However, restrictions may be introduced in the future , considering the potential distracted driving that the use of vaping devices could cause.
It is important to be aware of current regulations and common sense when using an electronic cigarette in public places. Respecting the rules of the managers of the premises and considering the comfort of the surrounding people are fundamental elements to avoid inconvenience and possible sanctions.
Well, we have concluded this examination of the vaping ban. As you may have read, unlike cigarettes, electronic cigarettes are only prohibited in certain places specifically indicated by law .
Use the information I have given you, along with your common sense , and you will not have to fear being sanctioned or incurring the wrath of those around you.
Before saying goodbye, I invite you to enter the Terpy shop : you can find liquids for electronic cigarettes , bases with nicotine , e-liquid concentrated flavors and many other excellent products for all vapers .
- Anti-smoking regulations for e-cigarettes have changed over the years. Initially, e-cigs were subject to the same bans as traditional cigarettes, but in 2013, amendment 4.25 was passed which eliminated these restrictions.
- The Sirchia law, promulgated in 2003, regulates the ban on smoking in public and private places open to the public in Italy. This legislation prohibits smoking in places such as offices, schools, hospitals, public and private means of transport, places where food and drinks are served, and places used for sporting, recreational or cultural activities.
- However, the Sirchia law does not provide specific indications on vaping electronic cigarettes. Therefore, venue managers have the right to prohibit vaping even if there is no legal provision prohibiting it. It is advisable to ask the owners for information before vaping in places such as restaurants or bars.
- In means of transport such as trains, planes and ships, the use of e-cigarettes is generally prohibited. Rules may vary between different companies, so it is always advisable to find out before travelling.
- Regarding the use of electronic cigarettes inside the car, there are still no specific provisions in Italian law. Although smoking is prohibited in the presence of minors or pregnant women, there are no explicit restrictions on the use of e-cigs. However, restrictions may be introduced in the future considering the potential for distracted driving.
Questions and answers
What are the regulations on vaping in public places in 2024?
Vaping regulations may vary depending on locations and applicable laws. Some places prohibit vaping, such as hospitals, schools, job centers and juvenile correctional facilities. Other venues such as restaurants, bars and pubs may allow or prohibit vaping at the discretion of the managers.
What are the restrictions on vaping inside transportation?
In most cases, vaping is prohibited inside trains, planes and ships. However, the rules may vary between different transport companies. Some ships may allow vaping in designated outdoor areas for smokers.
Is it possible to vape an electronic cigarette in the car?
Currently there are no specific provisions that prohibit vaping electronic cigarettes inside the car. However, the smoking ban in motor vehicles applies in the presence of minors or pregnant women. It is important to consider common sense and the potential driving distraction that e-cigarette use could cause.