Football’s main focus this summer will be the European Championships, which are taking place in France between 10th June and 10th July. Thousands of football fans from around the continent will be flocking to the country to enjoy the games and the atmosphere, but one question on many fans’ lips will be: can you vape at Euro 2016? The official guidelines from UEFA are clear: you cannot smoke or vape at any of the stadia. Meanwhile, it’s also important to remember that vaping is banned in enclosed public places in France.
UEFA’s regulations are explained in Section 4.4 of their official ticketing guidelines, where it says: “Smoking – including the use of e-cigarette products – shall be strictly prohibited in the Stadium. The stadium (hereinafter ‘Stadium’), as referred to in these Stadium Rules, shall include all areas within the stadium premises and its immediate vicinity where a match will be played, is played or has been played that are only accessible with a match ticket (hereinafter ‘Ticket’) and/or a UEFA Euro 2016 accreditation (hereinafter ‘Accreditation’), including all entrances and exits.”
So it’s very clear that you can’t vape in or around the stadia for any of the games in the tournament, but what are the potential punishments if you break these regulations? Very severe, including:
- Expulsion from the Stadium and possible handing over to the police;
- The banning of the offender from all Stadiums for part or all of the duration of UEFA EURO 2016, in accordance with the Accreditation Terms and Conditions or the Ticketing Sales Terms and Conditions, as applicable; 5
- The cancellation and invalidation of the Ticket and any other Tickets that have been purchased by the offending person for the same or other matches, in accordance with the Ticketing Sales Terms and Conditions;
- The provision, in accordance with applicable laws, of the offender’s personal information to relevant national football associations and/or the police so that appropriate measures can be taken (e.g. national stadium bans);
- The initiation of legal proceedings by UEFA, the FFF and/or EURO 2016 SAS, or any other authorised persons or entities;
- Penalties or remedies in compliance with French law.
That last point is certainly worth remembering because you would be breaking French law as well as tournament regulations, as vaping is banned in enclosed public places in France. So you can’t vape in bars, restaurants, pubs, hotels or public transport, unless there is signage explicitly saying that you can. In any case, you certainly need to get clarification from a member of staff before vaping anywhere, especially if you’re not certain about the laws in the country.
So, you definitely can’t vape at Euro 2016, but that doesn’t mean you should despair. Like any major summer football tournament, there will be lots of open air spaces where fans will be congregating in the host cities where vaping will be allowed. As long you’re careful and respectful of the local laws, you’ll have a great time.