Concerns are growing surrounding the impact of vaping while driving. It feels like the UK is in the process of seriously considering a ban for motorists. As the number of vapers increases in Great Britain, so do the worries from motoring groups about its potential adverse effects on drivers.
The Call for a Ban
Various councils are pressuring the government to act against vapes before the start of 2024. Among the voices advocating for this ban, motoring experts at LeaseCar.uk have expressed their urgency on prohibiting the use of e-cigarette devices when driving. Their concerns focus on the potential impairment of vision and feelings of dizziness reported by some users.
The Rise of Vaping
According to data from August 2022, a record 4.3 million people in Great Britain have taken up vaping. This statistic marks an 8.3% increase from the previous year. Alongside this growth, concerns have also risen due to the revelation that disposable vapes’ nicotine levels significantly exceed the legal limits, prompting supermarkets across the country to halt their sales.
Unfortunately, high-nicotine vapes are still available across the UK.
Legally, vapes should only contain a maximum of 2ml nicotine, with a strength no greater than 2%. However, investigations unveiled that numerous products surpassed this limit by an alarming 50%. Such high concentrations of nicotine can cause dizziness and lightheadedness, which are notably hazardous for individuals operating vehicles.
Safety Concerns and Legal Ramifications
In the UK, drivers are legally obligated to operate their vehicles with due care and attention. LeaseCar.uk experts argue that vaping makes it nearly impossible for drivers to uphold this standard, especially given the devices’ propensity to release vast clouds of vapour.
Failure to maintain full control of a vehicle can result in severe penalties for a driver in the UK. This includes unlimited fines, receiving up to nine points on their license, or even a discretionary disqualification. In particularly grave instances where someone gets injured or loses their life due to negligent driving, imprisonment becomes a possibility.
Interestingly, current UK law around smoking while driving is somewhat limited. It is unlawful to smoke in a vehicle with a passenger under 18, but this does not currently extend to vaping.
The Bigger Picture
As more information comes to light about vaping’s potential health consequences, including lung diseases and potential organ damage, experts are emphasising the urgent need to address and reevaluate its safety, especially behind the wheel.
Tim Alcock from LeaseCar.uk vocalized these concerns, saying, “With the current vaping epidemic, it’s only a matter of time before we witness more road fatalities.” Alcock elaborated on the imminent threats posed by vaping, especially considering the high nicotine levels in some devices.
“It’s disconcerting that drivers can still vape with children onboard, given both the immediate road risks and the potential long-term medical consequences,” Alcock added. “As these devices release vast clouds of vapour, they introduce a significant road hazard due to reduced visibility.”
Concluding his statement, Alcock urged, “The government needs to promptly revise the current motoring offences to reflect the grave risks associated with vaping while driving.”
In light of these revelations and concerns, it remains to be seen how the UK will respond and if vaping behind the wheel will ultimately be prohibited.
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