E-Cigarette Regulations Around The World
If you’re planning your summer holiday or about to embark on a business trip somewhere new, you may well be wondering about the e-cigarette regulations in your destination. Can you take your favorite liquid with you? Can you buy replacements when there? Is it permissible to smoke an e-cigarette on the plane or in a public place? The answers will very much depend on your destination, as legislation surrounding the sale and use of e-cigs varies dramatically from place to place. To help you stay on the right side of the law wherever your travels take you this year, we’ve put together a handy guide.
South and Central America have the most stringent e-cigarette regulations. Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico have banned the importation and sale of e-cigs outright. This means that you can’t take products with you when you travel to these countries and you won’t be able to buy equipment or liquids when you land. In Canada whilst they are technically illegal this is not enforced and regulations relating to e-cigarette use and sale are very similar to those found in the USA.
Travelling anywhere in the USA can create a headache for vaping enthusiasts, but hopefully FDA rules can create a national regulatory framework. Most States have different legislation towards e-cigarettes and even differing cities within the same State can have different ordinances regulating usage. Boston, Chicago, LA and New York councils have all voted to ban e-cig use in public places. Some private companies also regulate use – with McDonalds putting a nationwide ban on use in their restaurants. It is worth researching individual State policy before travelling.
The European system is a patchwork of regulation still. In most of mainland Europe the use of e-cigarettes is entirely legal. Countries like the UK take a progressive stance on the issue and you can purchase refills in many stores. You use your vaporizer pretty much anywhere outside. However, there are some countries including Austria, Norway, Sweden and Finland where while e-cigarettes may be legal, e-liquid is another matter entirely. In these countries you cannot freely purchase e-liquid with nicotine, therefore only nicotine-free options are legal. Denmark has gone a step further than this and made them entirely illegal. In some countries there are no controls on e-cigs. The Czech Republic is one example where both usage and advertising of electronic cigarette and vaping products is not restricted.
Using e-cigarettes in Europe varies massively on both a country and regional basis. Take the UK as an example; there are no national restrictions on using e-cigarettes but they are banned on public transport in London and indoors in Wales. Our best advice is to check before vaping if you are unsure.
Asia and Australasia
Despite the fact China is the world’s biggest supplier of both e-cigarettes and e-liquids, there are no national e-cigarette regulations governing their use. Laws are organized by the regional governments, so there can be huge variations in the use and sale of related products. In some provinces it is illegal to own or use electronic cigarettes. If you are in possession of a nicotine-based vape juice in Hong Kong you could face $100,000HK fine or up to two years in prison. Thailand and Japan follow China’s example and also ban the use and sale of nicotine based e-cigarettes. In Singapore you can face a $5000 fine for having them about your person. The Health Minister has voiced public opposition to them – claiming they are designed to attract new users particularly young people and women.
Australia and New Zealand are both extremely strict on the use of e-cigarette products. Australia varies on a state basis. In Queensland for example, nicotine is classed as a poison and e-cigarettes are banned. Some states are more relaxed but usage is still regulated in the same way as standard cigarettes. New Zealand, by contrast, has a no tolerance policy and prohibits their use nationwide.
Most African nations have no e-cigarette regulations in place. In South Africa, the sale of vape juice with nicotine is banned but a large underground market exists. Using an e-cigarette has limited controls. These regulations are mirrored in Egypt. Beyond these two nations, the African e-cigarette market is largely free of restrictions.
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