The police are warning drivers they could be prosecuted and lose their licence if they’re caught vaping while driving.
Although it isn’t illegal to use an e-cigarette behind the wheel, the police have said the act is dangerous because vaping can fill the car with thick clouds, obscuring vision and potentially, could cause a crash.
It means you could be prosecuted for driving without care and attention, with penalties including a ban, points or a fine of up to £2,500.
Speaking to Metro about the issue, Sergeant Carl Knapp of the Sussex Roads Policing Unit said:
The smoke caused by vapes are a distraction and the consequences of them can be dire, all it takes is a moment to become distracted and potentially cause a crash and even worse, a fatality.
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 you open your windows and blow the vapour directly out, just ensure you are in full control of your vehicle before doing so.
His comments have been echoed by several other senior police officers, with Sergeant John Davis of Surrey Police adding:
Any person who’s distracted in any way could be guilty of an offence – whether that be smoking, vaping or eating.
With regards to a scenario where someone could potentially be either distracted or have reduced visibility then there’s potential for a crash.
It’s clear the police consider vaping behind the wheel to be as bad as smoking and eating.
Currently in the UK it’s illegal for drivers to smoke or fail to stop a passenger from smoking while someone under the age of 18 is in the car.
It isn’t just the police who are backing these claims, charities also believe the activity is dangerous.
Road safety charity Brake stated to Metro:
Vaping while driving increases your risk of crashing, causing visual disruption and physical and mental distraction.
Attempting any type of activity that takes your eyes off the road increases your chances of causing a crash and killing or seriously injuring someone.
Although vaping while driving is not strictly illegal, maybe you should think about the potential dangers before you do.
As the police advise, blow the smoke outside the window to ensure no accidents happen.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.