Electronic cigarettes also referred to as e-cigarettes, are battery-operated devices that simulate smoking. A Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik invented e-cigarettes and patented them in 2007. E-cigarettes comprise three parts:
• Two metal cylinders containing batteries and electronic circuits
• A cartridge containing liquid nicotine, solvents, and flavorings
• An atomizer with a heating element
The vaping laws can diverge dramatically all over the world. Some countries have banned vaping whereas others take a more open view on e-cigarettes. Since travel has returned to some form of normality, people are beginning to think about their next big holiday away to soak up the sun, see some sights, relax, and have a vape. For most of the global destinations, there`s not much to worry about for vapers. Although, there are places where vaping regulations are extremely strict.
To date, there are 330 million vapers worldwide. Even with so many people enjoying this invention, certain governments have decided to ban it. Some of the bans still come as a surprise because of how popular vaping has become in recent years. In some places where the general population supports e-cigarettes, however, their elected officials neglect to listen to them. Because of some negative facts about e-cigarettes reported by media outlets over the years, numerous countries have banned them out rightly or implemented strict regulations on their use. A lot of countries have taken advice regarding everything to do with public health from the World Health Organization (WHO), which is unfortunately anti-vaping. Once the WHO says vaping is bad, then numerous countries will follow this advice to the letter and implement an outright ban.
An electronic cigarette is an option to a regular cigarette that does not permit individuals who smoke it to cause harm or danger to other people, especially non-users. It is considered as a healthier option that does not cause cancer as it releases vapors and does not smoke, which causes damage to the lung. They are battery-operated devices that assist smokers to quit smoking by reducing their dependence on nicotine with time till they stop it entirely. Smoking electronic cigarettes is a better alternative than regular cigarettes. It removes all the life-threatening chemicals from tobacco and allows people who smoke to minimize their consumption of nicotine without changing its amount gradually over time until they entirely stop.
However, there are more than 40 countries that have prohibited the use of vaping outright. Numerous countries have banned the importation, the sale of e-liquid, and the use of e-cigarettes. A ban may be in place, although the punishments are not severe in some places. But even possessing an e-cigarette can result in significant penalties in other jurisdictions, such as a hefty fine and jail time. Even though they are illegal to sell or import in many countries, most allow the use of vaporizers. However, this isn`t the case for all countries, a list of those bringing an e-cigarette into the country illegally is provided below:
Antigua and Barbuda – Legal to use, illegal to sell
Argentina – Legal to use, illegal to sell
Australia – according to this, it is legal to use, but illegal to possess nicotine without a doctor`s prescription. Illegally importing nicotine can be punishable with fines not exceeding $222,000. Penalties for possession range from one state to the next but can also be quite severe.
Bangladesh – It currently has no laws or regulations specific to vaping. Although, in 2021 the government announced it would update the country`s tobacco control law with an outright ban on the sales of electronic cigarettes.
Other countries with the same laws include:
Bhutan – Legal to use, illegal to sell
Brazil – Legal to use, illegal to sell
Brunei Darussalam - Legal to use, illegal to sell
Cambodia – Banned; Legal to use, illegal to sell
Chile – Legal to use, illegal to sell (except for approved medical products)
Colombia – Legal to use, illegal to sell
East Timor – Believed to be banned
Egypt – Legal to use, illegal to sell, however, the country may be on the brink of regulating vaping products
Ethiopia – Legal to use, illegal to sell
Gambia – Legal to use, illegal to sell
Hong Kong - Legal to use, illegal to sell. The country`s ban on the manufacture, sales, importation and promotion of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products took effect on April 30, 2000.
India – Legal to use, illegal to sell. In September 2019, the Indian central government banned the sales of vaping products. The government, aware that 100 million smoke and that tobacco kills almost a million people a year, did not make any moves to minimize access to cigarettes. Not accidental, the Indian government owns a large share of the country`s largest tobacco company.
Iran – Believed legal to use, illegal to sell
Jamaica – Legal to use, illegal to sell nicotine-containing products without a medical license
Japan – according to government sources, Legal to use, illegal to sell devices and zero-nicotine e-liquid, but illegal to sell nicotine-containing liquid, however, people can import nicotine-containing products with some restrictions. Heated Tobacco Products (HTPs) like IQQS are legal and extremely popular.
Kuwait – Believed legal to use, illegal to sell
Lao People`s Democratic Republic (Laos) – Illegal to use, illegal to sell
Lebanon – Legal to use, illegal to sell
Macau – Legal to use, illegal to sell. Imports for personal use are currently not banned, but the Macau government is working to pass the vape prohibition.
Malaysia – Legal to use, illegal to sell nicotine-containing products. However, consumer sales of nicotine-containing products are illegal, and according to sources, Malaysia has a successful vaping market. From time to time, authorities raid retailers and confiscate products. Sales of all vaping products, even without nicotine, are banned outright in the states of Johor, Kelantan, Kedah, Penang, and Terengganu.
Mauritius – Legal to use, illegal to sell
Mexico – Legal to use, illegal to sell. The president of Mexico issued a decree banning the sales of all vapes and heated tobacco products in May 2022. The law includes nicotine-free products
Myanmar – Believed to be banned
Nepal – Legal to use where smoking is allowed, illegal to sell
Nicaragua – Believed illegal to use, illegal to sell
North Korea (Democratic People`s Republic of Korea) – Banned
Oman – Believed legal to use, illegal to sell
Panama – Legal to use, illegal to sell
Qatar – Banned; illegal to use, illegal to sell
Seychelles – Legal to use, illegal to sell. Although, the country announced in 2019 its intention to legalize and regulate e-cigarettes.
Singapore – Banned; illegal to use, illegal to sell. As of 2018, the possession of vapes is a crime, punishable by jail time and fines (Although, the threat of prosecution doesn`t prevent a thriving black market.
Sri Lanka – Legal to use, illegal to sell
Suriname – Legal to use, illegal to sell
Syria – Banned; illegal to use, illegal to sell
Thailand – Believed legal to use, illegal to sell. It has earned a reputation for enforcing its ban on sales and importation of vaping products with several high-profile incidents in current years, including detaining and even deporting vaping tourists.
Timor-Leste – Legal to use, illegal to sell
Turkey – Legal to use, illegal to import. Importation of vaping products is illegal in Turkey, and when the country restated its ban in 2017, the World Health Organization issued a press release celebrating the decision. Although Turkey`s conflicting, there is a vaping market and a vaping community in Turkey.
Turkmenistan – Believed legal to use, illegal to sell
Uganda – Legal to use, illegal to sell
The United States of America - Legal to use, illegal to sell. However, sales of products not authorized by the FDA became technically illegal as of Sept. 9, 2021. Although no state has banned the sales of vaping products outright, numerous have bans on flavored products or online sales. Some California cities, especially San Francisco, have banned the sales of all e-cigarettes.
Uruguay – Legal to use, illegal to sell
Vatican City – Believed to be banned
Venezuela – Legal to use, illegal to sell, unless approved as medical products
Attitudes toward vaping are changing, but not for the better now. After the WHO published a report in 2021 significantly condemning vaping, it is likely to see more countries ban vaping and vaping products. Not much has changed around the world even after the first wave of regulations. Governments seem to be in no hurry to change their approach even with so much positive research.