First airport vaping zone for e-cigarettes to open at London Heathrow’s T4

Electronic cigarette maker Gamucci is set to open the world’s first airport ‘vaping zone’ for e-cigarette users at London’s Heathrow airport later this month, according to reports by Reuters and Bloomberg.

In a statement on the airport’s website, Heathrow claims to be a smoke-free airport, in line with the British law on smoking in enclosed public spaces. Smoking is permitted in designated areas outside the terminal building. So far, electronic cigarettes have been subject to exactly the same restrictions as standard cigarettes and hence could not be used inside any of the terminal buildings.

However with the rising use of the smoke-free devices, a new indoor zone measuring 30 square meters will open in the international departure lounge at Terminal 4 on November 25. Entry will be restricted to those aged 18 and over, Gamucci said. The company is the fastest-growing electronic cigarette brand in the UK, it said, citing research by Neilsen.

While the airport will now provide a vaping zone for e-cigarettes, and though they can be carried in person by passengers, passengers will have to check with their respective airline whether they are allowed on board the aircraft.

Driven in part due to the restrictions on smoking, sales of e-cigarettes have boomed in recent years. The battery-driven devices allow users to inhale nicotine-laced vapor and are seen as a less harmful alternative to smoking.

According to the report by Reuters, governments are currently looking at ways to best regulate the use of e-cigarettes. In June, Britain decided to regulate them as medicines from 2016; however, last month European parliamentarians rejected the idea of doing the same across the European Union.