Countries all over the world are still uncertain of where they stand regarding the use of e-cigarettes. Although most nations are content to resign themselves to regulating their use (although this is still often disproportionate to any risk associated with vaping), some others have completely banned the sale and use of e-cigs. So which countries can you visit happily with your vaping equipment, and which should you avoid? In some places all e-cigarettes are banned from sale or possession while in others only liquids which contain nicotine are forbidden. Some countries have no issue with foreigners bringing in their own nicotine containing e-liquids and others even allow their own citizens to import e-juice for their own personal use. In this list, we look only at the countries that have entirely forbidden the possession and sale of all types of e-cigs and the reasons for those bans.
Countries That Have Banned E-Cigarettes:
In 2011, Argentina banned the importation and sale of e-cigs stating that there was insufficient scientific research to prove that their use was safe. However this makes no sense, since tobacco still legal. The Argentinian authorities also state that there is no convincing proof that e-cigarettes can help smokers to quit the habit. While it has been suggested that imported e-liquids for personal use are permitted, users may still encounter problems.
The sale and manufacture of vape pens was banned in Brazil in 2014 as officials raised concerns about potential carcinogens and cited an FDA study as evidence. It has recently been suggested that 10 reals are charged as a fine for every product confiscated by the authorities and although some users claim to have been able to vape in Brazil without experiencing any difficulties, caution should be exercised.
E-cigarettes were banned in Brunei in 2010 as they are considered to be an “imitation tobacco product”. Anyone caught using a vaping device in a no-smoking area can be fined $300 if it is their first offence or $500 for a subsequent offence. If you are caught importing or selling e-cigs, you can be fined $5,000 if it is your first offence or $10,000 for a subsequent one. Although the ban has been put in place because of the carcinogens and nicotine content of e-liquids, regular tobacco are still legal. Although personal use is not specifically outlawed, this is not definitive.
E-cigs were banned in Cambodia in 2014 as a test that was supposedly carried out showed that they may be more harmful than regular tobacco. There is a strong Cambodian market for black market vaping equipment and many users have reported no difficulties in bringing in their own vaping gear.
Although vaping devices are technically forbidden in Indonesia, the authorities appear to be content to allow them to be brought in for personal use. There is currently talk about a potential ban on sales which may come into force eventually, although no date has yet been given for this to take place and e-cigs continue to be sold.
All vaping devices, including those without nicotine, have been banned in Jordan since 2009. This is because the authorities believe that there is a higher nicotine content in them and that there is no evidence to show that vaping is an effective or safe alternative to tobacco. Although applications have been submitted by those who wish to import e-cigs, these were all rejected.
The sale of vaping devices has been banned in Oman since 2012 as apparently their use has not yet been proved to be safe or effective. Although the use of them is still permitted, there are discussions underway as to whether or not there should be an outright ban as a result of the formaldehyde study from the Center for Environmental Health.
In Qatar, both the sale and use of e-cigarettes has been banned as the authorities state that they believe that the nicotine content is higher than that found in regular tobacco. There is a complete ban on any vaping devices being brought into the country.
The sale, import and use of vaping devices has been banned in Singapore since 2010 as they resemble tobacco products. A fine can be charged of up to $5000 if you break this law. Some other tobacco products look set to be forbidden too, including e-liquids in order to protect the public from the harms that they allegedly cause.
E-cigarettes have been classified as a regulated drug here since 2009 and this means that without regulatory approval, nobody can sell, import or manufacture these devices in Taiwan. Anyone flouting the law can be fined or even imprisoned. This law is based on the WHO’s report and the law even covers products like nicotine free vape pens.
The import of e-cigs was banned in Thailand in 2014, and although there is also supposed to be a ban on their sale, this is rarely in evidence. Many users have had no difficulty in bringing in vaping devices through customs, and possessing e-cigarettes is also still legal.
United Arab Emirates
In the UAE, both the import and sale of vape pens is banned and this has been the case since 2009. This is because the authorities fear undermining local anti-smoking efforts and have concerns that vaping may encourage young people to become addicted. They also cite apparent health hazards as a reason for the ban. There is, however, still an illegal trade but you should still avoid taking your vaping equipment to the United Arab Emirates with you.
The sale of e-cigs is forbidden in Uruguay based on the presence of ethylene glycol and nicotine and also citing a lack of evidence that they are effective in helping to prevent smoking. Many users have managed to vape without problems in Uruguay however.
The law on vaping in Venezuela is currently unclear, although a report in 2012 claimed that a ban was in place on the distribution and sale of e-cigs. A WHO document from 2014, however, states that no regulation or ban exists.
When looking at the many countries which have currently banned vaping, it seems clear that their reasoning may well be based on misinformation. Although some cite the fact that there is a lack of evidence to support the use of e-cigs, there appears to be a lack of common sense as to what can reasonably be expected with regard to the risks based on everything we currently know about vaping. Some countries even have bizarre claims that vaping is even more dangerous than tobacco or claim that they have a higher nicotine content, both of which are blatantly untrue.
If you are a vaper visiting any of these countries, it is important to be aware of the laws in order to avoid any problems you may encounter. However for the citizens of those nations who wish to vape, it is hoped that their governments will soon realise the foolishness of allowing tobacco to remain on sale while banning the safer alternative of vaping.