What are enclosed public places?

One of the most significant discussions for vapers is where they can and can't vape. It’s a complex subject, as there are few strict rules on where vaping is allowed. Instead, venues tend to put their own rules in place. As an example, it might mean if you want to vape in a pub, some will let you, and others won’t.


'Enclosed Public Space' is a term that first appeared in 2004 when the smoking ban in public places came into force in Ireland. At the time, the following definition of an enclosed place was offered: "Premises are considered to be enclosed if they have a ceiling or roof and, except for doors, windows or passageways, are wholly enclosed, whether on a permanent or temporary basis."

This ruling meant that you could no longer smoke in restaurants pubs, cinemas, and theatres. It essentially meant that you can’t smoke anywhere that’s not open air or a private residence (where the owner is happy for you to smoke).

While the ruling doesn’t include Vaping, it should be assumed that if you’re in a building or a place where there are lots of people, you should ask the owner or manager if vaping is allowed.


Where the ruling is less clear is where it relates to sports stadiums and other partially enclosed spaces.

This is understandable in areas that are enclosed within the stadium, but can cause confusion when fans are in the stands. This is because a football ground isn’t an enclosed public space, as it’s partially open air. However, this is true of other types of sporting stadiums.

While these areas may not be completely enclosed, they have a lot of people close to each other.

For many similar types of locations, the happiness of all customers and visitors is important. So while these areas are not technically 'enclosed', it's still likely that they will still have a lot of people close together. Vaping is often banned, for the benefit of those who don’t vape or smoke.


Although 'enclosed public spaces' rule is not formally a law, it has informally been introduced by many businesses and venues across the country.

If you were to vape in a pub or restaurant, you are likely to be asked to stop. If that happens, you should stop vaping immediately. If there are signs that clearly state you should not vape while there, you should not even begin. Always obey the rules of the venue you are in, and if there is any confusion, ask a member of staff before using your device.