As there is currently no blanket ban on vaping in pubs, cafes and restaurants, whether or not you may vape inside is at the venue’s discretion. Although privately owned establishments may be more lenient towards vapers than the big names, some of the larger chains are starting to see merit in not just permitting vaping, and marketing the fact.
The majority of chains, such as Caffe Nero and Starbucks, have resolutely banned vaping.
Vaping cafes are becoming more popular, particularly as cafe spaces within retailers’ stores. It’s a great way for vapers to try products out before committing to buy them, and an opportunity to meet other local vapers. Cafes that are vape friendly are increasing in number, although we recommend asking before you start vaping, particularly if your e-cig closely resembles a normal one. Always ask those sitting with and around you too, especially if they have children.
There are some dedicated vaping cafes.
Prohibition Vapes in Kent has three venues: Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells and Canterbury. The team here wanted to put the fun into vaping, beyond the choice of liquid flavour or battery size. And so it created vaping lounges, where people could meet and chat, learn more about vaping and try out new products, all while relaxing over a coffee. Prohibition Vapes describes itself as “an excellent mix of relaxed surroundings, coffees, vaping and e-cigarettes“.
Shake ‘n’ Vape in Warrington is styled like an American diner, from its decor to its menu, and across its variety of American-inspired e-liquids. It’s owned by Chris Bowman, who also makes e-liquids in a lab in the local area, and is an ambassador for the vaping community.
House of Vapes was established in Shoreditch in 2015, and still retains its flagship store. It has six cafes in strategic locations across London, as well as a presence in Berlin and Clermont-Ferrand and plans for more throughout the UK and Europe. Vapers are free to vape and consider which of the 150 e-liquid to try, while relaxing with their favourite hot drink in cafes which House of Vapes has designed to be “a living room from home”, complete with its own barista. Some stores also offer e-Shisha sessions, which carry a charge.
Enterprise Inns, now known as Ei Group plc, is a UK-wide network of more than 4,500 pubs across England and Wales. EI dedicates itself to supporting and empowering publicans to run a great pub business. Part of that focus is that the empowerment they offer their landlords, and that means it’s OK to vape at your local Enterprise Inn at the landlord’s discretion.
With an estimated out-of-home eating and drinking market that was valued at £80 billion in 2017, it is possible that more establishments will permit vaping in the future as they seek to increase their own share of the profits.
Written by Kelly Regan-Mears