Nearly a third of councils are ignoring expert advice by forcing vapers to use the same designated spaces as smokers, according to new research.
A freedom of information request by The Freedom Association found 29% of councils require e-cigarette users to vape in designated smoking shelters.
The majority (87%) also have the same policy on staff vaping as they do on smoking, despite Public Health England recommending councils have separate vaping policies in place.
The research found that only one council - the London Borough of Enfield - allows vaping indoors and actively encourages staff to vape instead of smoking tobacco.
Andrew Allison, head of campaigns for The Freedom Association and the report's author, said: ‘Public Health England stated earlier this year that smoke free policies should display a clear distinction between vaping and smoking, and that it is never acceptable to require vapers to share the same outdoor space with smokers. It is clear from this report that the vast majority of councils across the UK are ignoring this advice.
‘All councils should now review their vaping policies in-line with the recommendations of Public Health England. Those councils who currently require vapers to vape in designated smoking areas, should now immediately change their policies, and all councils allow some form of indoor vaping based on the current evidence that indoor vaping does not constitute a risk to public health.’