SMOKING electronic cigarettes in taxis in the Ribble Valley could be banned under plans to be discussed today.

The borough licensing committee will consider the proposal to alter the standard conditions for private hire and hackney carriage vehicles.


If the idea is approved a driver shall ‘not smoke in the vehicle or permit any passenger to smoke in the vehicle, which for the avoidable of doubt shall include smoking or using electronic cigarette or any other vapour-producing smoking device’.

The idea was first discussed in March after the council received a query from a taxi driver over whether the existing smoking ban included electronic cigarettes.

The council’s conditions for taxi drivers simply state that they must ‘not smoke in the vehicle or permit any passenger to smoke in the vehicle’, with no mention of e-cigarettes.

Smoking is defined in the 2006 Health Act as ‘smoking tobacco or anything which contains tobacco’ and being ‘in possession of lit tobacco’.

The council said it received three responses from taxi firms during the consultation period which were all in favour of the plan.

Sajjad Asghar, owner of Clitheroe Taxis, said: “This plan has been a long time in the coming.

“I think that it’s a brilliant idea because some drivers find it difficult to tell if the passenger is smoking a real or an e-cigarette.

“This sort of ban would help to kick people’s habit as well which is good for the whole community.

“I welcome this idea even if it only makes the smallest difference.”

In April, the council’s head of legal and democratic services, Diane Rice, wrote to all drivers and licence holders to consult them on the proposed changes.

Clitheroe Town councillor Simon O’Rourke said: “I think that it’s a good idea and it will help taxi firms a lot.

“I also think that more work needs to be done into the affects of e-cigarettes especially into their long-term effects.”