Vaping Laws Around The World

Well I hate to start off with a disclaimer but this information is correct as of Nov 2016. As you will find out below, governments all across the world are still struggling how to deal and legislate electronic cigarettes and many have new legislation proposed, lobbyist applying pressure or health reviews which may see a very different legal landscape over the next few years. As part of that if you have any new information come available please send me a link to the source in the comments below or on the contact page so I can keep this resource updated.

Unfortunately for vapers the authorities reactions always seem to be on the negative scale of things, some countries have banned them outright whilst allowing smoking, some have strange and varied regulations that make it difficult to know your legal protections and a small minority have thankfully seen the benefits of vaping and permitted it unconditionally. If you are travelling or unsure about the laws in your own country please use the table below to see where you stand:

Argentina

(Banned)

Overview

It is legal to use and own vapers but the reality is that they are banned in Argentina. It is illegal to purchase, sell, advertise or import e-cigarette equipment and juices including ones that contain no nicotine. Resolution 3226/2011 bans the importation, distribution, commercialisation and advertising of e-cigarettes and ancillaries. The resolution came into force during May 2011 and the justification seems to be the U.S FDA announcement that vaping has not been proven to be “safe for human consumption”.

Armenia

(Permitted)

Overview

The sale of e-cigarettes and liquids with and without nicotine is not regulated.

Australia

(Partial permission: two-tier system)

Overview

Australian’s have a two tier vaping law system. The federal and state governments both have legislation on the matter making it incredibly difficult for vapers to know where they stand. And it does not look like getting any simpler in the near future, earlier this year (2016) the SA Parliamentary committee released their report on E-cigarettes which doesn’t call for a total ban, but does consider excessive and unique regulations.

Australian laws are not specific when it comes to e-cigarettes, they essentially classify them under existing tobacco laws. Currently nicotine is classed as a Schedule 7 poison in Australia, so it’s illegal to sell it except as a licensed medication. Federal laws currently state:

  • Disposable cartridges or cartridges containing nicotine are illegal to sell
  • Nicotine Free and refillable cartridges are legal (unless state law says otherwise)
  • Importing nicotine liquids from overseas is legal (as long as it’s no more than 3 months supply and not to be resold).
  • E cigarette equipment can not be sold to minors (under 18)
  • E Cigarettes are not allowed to be advertised

Now take a look at the state specific laws which supersede any federal laws above:

Western Australia:

  • Electronic Cigarettes are classed as a device used to mimic smoking. (Tobacco Products Control Act 2006)
  • The Sale and Supply of electronic cigarettes is illegal.
  • The Sale and Supply of Nicotine is illegal.
  • Importing Nicotine for personal use is legal.
  • Purchasing Electronic Cigarettes from another Australian State is legal.
  • The use of electronic cigarettes with or without nicotine is legal.

Queensland:

  • Electronic Cigarettes are classed as a Tobacco product. (Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998)
  • The display and/or promotion of electronic cigarettes at a retail outlet is illegal.
  • The Sale and Supply of electronic cigarettes is legal.
  • The Sale and Supply of Nicotine is illegal.
  • Importing Nicotine for personal use is illegal.
  • The use of Electronic Cigarettes containing nicotine is illegal

New South Wales:

  • Electronic Cigarettes are not classed as tobacco products.
  • The Sale and Supply of electronic cigarettes is legal.
  • The Sale and Supply of Nicotine is illegal.
  • Importing Nicotine for personal use and possession is illegal. (clause 20 of the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008)
  • The use of electronic cigarettes with or without nicotine is legal.
  • It is an offence tuse e-cigarettes in cars with children under the age of 16 present
  • Sale of electronic cigarettes to persons under 18 is illegal
  • NSW Police have the power to seize an e-cigarette that is in the possession of a person under the age of 18.

Victoria:

  • Electronic Cigarettes are un-classed.
  • The Sale and Supply of electronic cigarettes is legal.
  • The Sale and Supply of Nicotine is illegal.
  • Importing Nicotine for personal use is legal with a medical certificate.
  • The use of electronic cigarettes without nicotine is legal. The use of electronic cigarettes with nicotine is legal with a medical certificate.

South Australia:

  • Electronic Cigarettes are un-classed.
  • The Sale and Supply of electronic cigarettes is legal.
  • The Sale and Supply of Nicotine is illegal.
  • Importing Nicotine for personal use is legal.
  • The use of electronic cigarettes with or without nicotine is legal.

Northern Territory:

  • Electronic Cigarettes are un-classed.
  • The Sale and Supply of electronic cigarettes is legal.
  • The Sale and Supply of Nicotine is illegal.
  • Importing Nicotine for personal use is legal.
  • The use of electronic cigarettes with or without nicotine is legal.

Australian Capital Territory:

  • Electronic Cigarettes are un-classed.
  • The Sale and Supply of electronic cigarettes is legal.
  • The Sale and Supply of Nicotine is illegal.
  • Importing Nicotine for personal use is legal.
  • The use of electronic cigarettes with or without nicotine is legal.

Tasmania:

  • Electronic Cigarettes are un-classed.
  • The Sale and Supply of electronic cigarettes is legal.
  • The Sale and Supply of Nicotine is illegal.
  • Importing Nicotine for personal use is legal.
  • The use of electronic cigarettes with or without nicotine is legal.

Austria

(Partially Permitted)

Overview

Whilst e-cigarettes were not technically banned in Austria, the practical ramifications of the previous legislation do not allow for any sort of trade. E-cigarettes (even those containing no nicotine) were classified as a medical product and need approval from the health ministry before reaching the market. No vaping equipment met the standards set for a approval and the cost and time involved in getting something approved would be prohibitive for any company trying to make a profit. However in 2015 an Austrian court found this unconstitutional as it blocked retailers ability to freely trade. Austrian Laws on vaping then mirrored the EU Laws on the matter until this year with new harsh legislation currently being debated. The Austrian government wants to:

  • Ban Distant sales
  • Prohibit any form of advertising both offline and online
  • Ban the testing of products in vaping stores (even though tobacco testing would still be legal)
  • Have every single vaping product approved by the ministry of health before sale.

Belgium

(Permitted)

Overview

Belgium is governed by the same rules as the rest of the EU but its history on E-cigarettes has not been so liberal. In 2007, the Minister of Health Laurette Onkelinx, banned e-cigarettes by ministerial decree directly when they were introduced on the market. She decided that they can only be sold in pharmacies, and not online (as medicines are not allowed to be sold online in Belgium). To date, this decision has not been challenged in court and was enforced until the EU updated its TPD (Tobacco Product Directive). During this period sale (and private import) of e-cigarettes that do not contain nicotine was allowed, but importing any e-liquid with nicotine was considered a criminal offence punishable with huge fines and even imprisonment.

However a new Royal Decree has been published on November 17, 2016 in the official journal, Le Moniteur, and will come into force in two months, on January 17, 2017. The major point of this decree is the ban on distant sale of e-cigarette and e-liquids. This measure was left at the discretion of Member States by the EU, and Belgium decided to beyond TPD’s recommendations in its transposition.

  • It is legal to use and sell e-cigarettes including those containing nicotine
  • It is legal to import e-cigarette products if you are a reseller and have submitted approval of the products to the Directorate-general Animals, Plants and Foodstuffs of the Federal Public Service for Public Health, Food-Chain Security and Environment (DGAPF-FPSPH-FCSE)
  • E-cigarettes can not be sold to minors (under 16)
  • Warning labels must contain all three official languages
  • It is illegal to vape in non-smoking areas

Bosnia and Herzegovina

(Permitted)

Overview

Nicotine-containing cartridges are not classified as tobacco products, and therefore the sale is not regulated in Bosnia.

Brazil

(Banned)

Overview

In Brazil, e-cigarettes are considered “tobacco imitation,” and the use, purchase, selling, and advertising of e-cigs is strictly prohibited. This ban is based on the country’s health agency, Anvisa, which found e-cigs “lacking enough information” to allow them for public use.

Brunei

(Banned)

Overview

In 2010 Brunei banned the importation and sale of e-cigarette products by amending their Tobacco Ordinance of 2005. The reasoning behind this decision is that e-cigarettes are “imitation smoking devices”. Importers and resailers face fines of $5,000 for first offences and $10,000 for repeat offences. There is no specific law that bans the personal use of vapers other then fines for vaping in no smoking areas.

  • Personal use of vaping is legal (or at least not specifically outlawed)
  • Importation and sales of e-cigarettes and accessories are illegal.
  • It is illegal to vape in non-smoking areas

Bulgaria

(Permitted)

Overview

The sale and use of electronic cigarettes are legal, as well as the sale of cartridges and liquids with nicotine. There are no specific regulations from EU

Cambodia

(Banned)

Overview

Cambodia banned e-cigarettes in 2014, allegedly after an obscure study found the devices contained “high levels of nicotine that could cause a more serious impact on health than cigarettes.” However, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time that it was actually Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen himself who ordered the ban on imports and sales of e-cigarettes “for fear they are having a negative impact on the youth.” The details of the ban are difficult to ascertain, particularly cases of users or sellers being punished. The ban also may be unnecessary, with the price guaranteed to lock most Cambodians out of the market. While a packet of cigarettes can go for as little as 1,000 riel, or about 25 cents, an e-cigarette starter kit starts at $35 and refill liquids start at $3.

Canada

(Permitted: two-tier system)

Overview

Federally Canada has not imposed any restrictions on the use or sale of electronic cigarettes including ones that use nicotine. Also there is currently no laws against vaping inside or in non-smoking areas. However Health Canada is placing a lot of pressure on retailers and lobbying hard for things to change. There are however some laws and restrictions that affect vapers and these are found on a provincial or municipal level in Canada.

Ontario:

  • You must be 19 to purchase e-cigarettes and vaping supplies

Alberta:

Alberta currently has no legislation referring to e-cigarettes. However there is one regulation in Calgary which states:

  • That the use of vapers in non-smoking areas is prohibited.

British Columbia:

There are currently no regulations actively in place. However in march of 2015 the government proposed legislation that would

  • Make it illegal to vape in no-smoking areas and indoors
  • Make it illegal to purchase e-cigarettes for people under 19
  • Restict advertising and promotion of e-cigarettes.

This legislation has been delayed due to the amount of public feedback and is currently under further investigation.

Manitoba

In Manitoba, bill 30 was introduced into parliament for its 1st reading. It is called the Non-smokers health protection amendment act (e-cigarettes). This bill proposes the following:

  • Make it illegal for anyone under 18 to purchase e-cigarettes
  • E-cigarettes may be used in designated rooms in group living facilities and hotels similar to present exemptions for smoking
  • Advertising would now have restrictions which are “similar to restrictions presently in place for tobacco products”

Bill 30 achieved Royal assent on November 5, 2015 and is currently in proclamation. This means it is ‘almost’ enforceable. Once the regulations are proposed and passed, it will be given an effective date for enforcement.

Nova Scotia:

  • They must be kept out of view, unless the store does not permit minors to enter.
  • There is no point-of-sale promotion permitted.
  • There is no signage or advertising allowed outside of the store.
  • No selling to anyone under the age of 19.

New Brunswick:

  • It is illegal to sell Ecigarettes and juices to minors (under 19)
  • Minors may not enter a vapour store unless accompanied by an adult.
  • Outdoor advertising and indoor advertising that can be seen from outside are illegal.

Quebec:

On November 26, 2015, Quebec adopted new regulations regarding e-cigarettes, it is called Bill 44. Bill 44 states:

  • E-cigarretes can not be displayed or sold anywhere, except in specialized retail outlets (vape stores)
  • E-cigarettes can not be sold via the phone or over the internet.
  • E-cigarettes retailers are prohibited to advertise online or to display posters in windows for promotional or advertising purposes.
  • Purchase of e-cigarrettes by or for minors is illegal

Saskatchewan:

Currently there are no regulations in Saskatchewan other then one in the city of Saskatoon:

  • Vaping is prohibited in all non-smoking areas excluding vape stores.

Newfoundland and Labrador:

The Provincial government in Newfoundland and Labrador are currently ‘working on new legislation’ regarding vaping and e-cigarettes. At this time no official policies are in place

Prince Edward Island:

Currently there are no regulations in place but the provincial government is implementing adaptations to bill 9 and 10 (smoke free places act and tobacco sales and access act). What this likely means is in the future it will be:

  • Illegal to Vape in all non-smoking areas excluding vape stores.
  • Illegal to sell to minors.
  • Adverting and promotion restrictions in line with current smoking policies.

Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon

Currently, there are no provincial or municipal regulations/laws/bills for the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, or Yukon.

China

(Permitted)

Overview

Specific details are difficult to come by with China but at the time of publication the use, sale, and exportation of e-cigarettes is legal. However like much of the rest of the world this situation is not guaranteed with both the government and anti-smoking lobby groups talking about changes to their vaping laws. A spokesman for China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission has recently said: “E-cigarettes have rapidly become popular throughout the world, but the health authorities will coordinate the related agencies and lobby for regulation of the sector” without divulging what they mean by regulation. There are some local restrictions currently in place throughout china:

  • It is illegal to vape in no-smoking areas in Shanghai
  • In China’s special administrative region of Hong Kong, the Council on Smoking and Health, at least since early 2015, has been actively campaigning for a total ban on the sale and use of e-cigarettes in the territory
  • In Hong Kong nicotine-based e-smoking devices are classified as a Type I poison under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance. Accordingly, both sale and possession of these are prohibited and violators are subject to a fine of up to HKD100,000 (approximately US$12,900) and/or a prison term of two years. The law does not cover any electronic non-nicotine delivery systems, which are thus perfectly legal.
  • The special administrative region of Macau has proposed a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes which will be enacted as an amendment on to Macau’s Tobacco Control Law. This amendment has yet to take effect.

Costa Rica

(Permitted)

Overview

Costa Rica allows the use, sale and import of vaping products which include nicotine containing products. They have some limited regulations on vaping which include:

  • Importation requires a special declaration (but no special licence)
  • It is illegal to sell vaping products to minors (under 18)
  • Advertising of vaping products is illegal
  • Can not vape in non-smoking areas

EU

(Permitted)

Overview

The European Union update the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) in 2014 which was effectively unchanged since 2001 (well before e-cigarettes were invented and popularised). The directive specifies a number of laws specific to e-cigarettes but the commission voted against the proposal to introduce medical regulation for vaping which means they are generally permitted and these directives took force in 2016. Its important to note however that there is a fair amount of lee-way for member states to make their own laws in regards to e-cigarettes and that these laws will take precedence over the European laws. The TPD states:

  • It is legal to use e-cigarettes
  • It is legal to import e-cigarette products including nicotine liquids
  • It is illegal to advertise e-cigarettes
  • Health warnings on e-cigarette packs are mandatory, as are instructions for their use, information on addictiveness and toxicity, a list of all substances contained in the product and information on the product’s nicotine content. No promotional elements are allowed on packs.
  • The maximum size of refill containers of nicotine containing liquid is 10ml
  • Maximum size of cartridges or tanks do no exceed 2ml
  • Maximum nicotine strength of e-liquid is 20mg
  • Electronic cigarettes must provide a consistent dose of nicotine
  • E-cigs and refill containers must have a mechanism to ensure leak free refilling
  • If a “competent authority” believes any product may present a health risk they may be prohibited (Basically if three member states ban the e-cigarettres this can be extended to a blanket ban on all EU states.

France

(Permitted)

Overview

France is covered by European laws which you can see here. Currently the only difference is the recent nationwide ban on vaping in non-smoking areas introduced by the health ministry of France.

Germany

(Permitted)

Overview

Germany is covered by the same laws as all EU nations which you can see here. However domestically the status of vapers has been a long running battle. Previously the laws were ambiguous and definition was being looked for through the courts. In 2014 the Federal Administrative Court, overturned three decisions of the Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia, ruling that e-cigarettes filled with nicotine-containing liquids do not fall under the definition of medicinal products in the Medicinal Products Act.

The three court cases all dealt with store owners who had appealed administrative decisions that prohibited them from selling liquids containing more than ten or fifteen milligrams of nicotine. The cities argued that the nicotine-containing liquids should be classified as medicinal products and could therefore not be sold without approval in accordance with the Medicinal Products Act.

  • The sale, use and importation of e-cigarettes are legal in line with the EU TPD
  • Sale to minors is illegal (under 18)

Greece

(Permitted)

Overview

Greece has a number of rules and legislation covering tobacco and e-cigarettes but they are currently unenforced. In 2015 it was reported that no money was collected by the Government in 2015 neither for fines nor for infringement of smoking-related laws, for selling tobacco and alcohol to minors nor in annual licensing fees for areas where smoking is permitted in enclosed spaces.

The Greek government is looking at implementing the following:

  • Ban on vaping in public places
  • Specific taxation of vaping products
  • Ban on online sales
  • Which at least suggest that these activities are currently legal and being part of the EU they default legislation would be the EU’s tobacco control order.

    Hungary

    (Partially Permitted)

    Overview

    Hungary introduced a 2-tier system in 2013 which made vaping products legal, but any products containing nicotine subject to pharmaceutical licencing which is effectively a ban. Thankfully in 2014 a court overruled this decision, redefining nicotine cartridges as consumer products repaying any fines and returning stocks from those effected. Unfortunately the battle for vaping freedom was not over with a government decree in August 2016 banning the addition of flavour to e-liquids which suggest the health and tobacco lobbies will be waging war for some time still.

    India

    (Partial permission: two-tier system)

    Overview

    India currently allows vaping everywhere except in two states, Maharashtra and Punjab. “There is absolutely no definition or mention of vapes or electronic cigarettes under any Indian penal code, amendment or law” according to one prominent Indian lawyer. However the rhetoric from the federal government does not suggest this arrangement will continue for much longer. In 2014, the central government appointed an Expert Committee consisting of doctors, scientists and activists to analyse the effects of e-cigarettes on the human body. The committee, in its report, vehemently opposed the use of e-cigarettes and proposed banning the device on the territory, putting forward a Gateway effect to smoking and addiction to nicotine.

    • In Punjab they have banned the import, distribution and sale of electronic nicotine delivery systems
    • Maharashtra (West India) banned the sale of e-cigarettes (e-commerce and direct sale) after its Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued show-cause the product was being sold without mandatory permission from Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) which is in direct contravention of Drugs and Cosmetics Act and makes the trade illegal.
    • Personal use of vapers is still legal in these states

    Indonesia

    (Banned)

    Overview

    It is illegal in Indonesia to use, possess, sell, advertise or import e-cigarettes and associated products. The ban was introduced during August 2010, when the Indonesian Food and Drug Monitoring Agency decided that due to the grave potential for danger posed by vaping, a full ban would be the best course of action. Interestingly this was a full 2 years before they introduced a ban on selling cigarettes to minors.

    Now this is not an invitation to test the Indonesian judicial system, but the ban seems not be enforced. Vaper shops have been running unmolested for years and anecdotally the authorities will give you no troubles for vaping, particularly in popular tourist destinations. Customs also seems to turn a blind eye to the practice.

    Ireland

    (Permitted)

    Overview

    Vaping is not covered by the Irish smoking ban which explicitly effects tobacco products. It is therefore legal to use, sell and import vaping products in Ireland. The Irish are covered by the same EU regulations as the other EU nations and seem to be reviewing their position although no actual changes have been discussed at this stage.

    Israel

    (Permitted)

    Overview

    It is legal to import, sell, advertise and use vapers including those with nicotine. This however has been in constant jeopardy with a failed recommendation in 2009 for their prohibition. In 2013 the Israeli government bought in restrictions on the public places to vape, bringing them inline with current smoking restrictions. It is illegal to vape wherever smoking is prohibited such as malls, cafes and bars. Also in 2013 the health ministry considered another ban or a reclassification as a tobacco product, as of today this consideration remains just that. Lastly in 2014 a health ban by the ministry of health classifying vapers as a medicine was overturned by the supreme court allowing full import rights for the product.

    Italy

    (Permitted)

    Overview

    Use, sale and import of e-cigarettes is legal in Italy. Interestingly though the government has give official approval to one supplier (although everyone else is free to trade) because extensive testing showed them to be safe. That brand is Categoria who received their approval from the Italian ministry of health. In 2014 because of declining tobacco revenue the Italian government added a large tax on e-liquids raising the price by 150%. However importation was not subject to the new tax so the effect was to destroy the domestic vaping economy. The only other unique vaping law in Italy is a ban on advertising between 4pm and 7pm when children watch TV.

    Japan

    (Partially Banned)

    Overview

    Japan is definitely an interesting country when it comes to vape laws. The controlling legislative body for e-cigarettes is the ministry of finance who have a controlling interest in Japans only tobacco company, Tobacco Japan. This massive conflict of interest has led to the Japans current legislation where the sale, use and importation of e-cigarette products is legal but the use, import or sale of any nicotine in these products is illegal. Any nicotine based vaping products are classed as unlicensed medical products. And the news only becomes more grim when in May 2015 a health ministry research group which said that four of the nine e-cigarette brands that can currently be legally sold in Japan (because they do not dispense or contain nicotine) produce vapor with high levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. “A panel at the Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry that received [the] research report said negative health effects cannot be ruled out from the use of e-cigarettes. The ministry is expected to study the feasibility of tightening regulations.

    However vaporizers that operate by vaporizing tobacco leaf rather than liquid are not banned. Most notably, Japan Tobacco holds a minority interest in a San Francisco-based company, Ploom, and government regulators decided that it was not subject to MHLW control because its leaf vaporizer fit the definition of a tobacco product and is thus more appropriately regulated by the ministry of finance. Philip Morris International also recently started test marketing a leaf vaporizer, IQOS, in Nagoya, Japan, and it too escapes MHLW regulation because it contains tobacco leaf. Both leaf vaporizers are now available to Japanese consumers despite having more known carcinogens then e-liquids. So to summarise for those who don’t want to read too much:

    • E-cigarettes are legal to use, sell and import
    • E-cigarettes containing nicotine are illegal to use, sell or import
    • Vaporisers that use tobacco leaf and not e-liquids are legal to use, sell and import

    Jordan

    (Banned)

    Overview

    Import and sale of electronic cigarettes, including nicotine-free products, is banned with the ministry of health citing a “higher percentage of nicotine”, used in the device, following suit of the World Health Organisation (WHO), which has previously warned against its use.

    Mexico

    (Banned)

    Overview

    Sale, production, distribution, importation or advertisement of any kind are forbidden because as the Commissioner of the Cofrepis Health Operation, Alvaro Perez Vega has said “They are products that have not been confirmed anywhere in the world to have the necessary safety, quality and effectiveness to replace the use of tobacco, but unfortunately people believe they are a viable means to stop smoking when no evidence for that exists”. The use of vapers is legal in Mexico with many tourist having no issues freely vaping in the country, but in 2015 the above taskforce began targeting retailers who were operating in Mexico resulting in over the seizure of over 9000 ecig units.

    New Zealand

    (Partial permission: two-tier system)

    Overview

    The Government has agreed in principle that nicotine for e-cigarettes should be legally available for sale with appropriate controls. The NZ government has recently released a consultation document and solicited public comment on the proposal. Currently nicotine liquids can only be imported for personal use. Below is the current legislative framework in New Zealand:

    • Nicotine free e-cigarettes and liquids are legal
    • Under the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 it is illegal to advertise, sell and distribute e-cigarettes that contain nicotine derived from tobacco, including nicotine-containing e-liquids
    • Under The Medicines Act and the SFEA, it is legal to import nicotine-containing e-cigarette products for your own use only (considered to be 3 months supply and not to be resold)
    • It is illegal to sell an e-cigarette in New Zealand while making a therapeutic claim (Basically can’t claim that it helps quit smoking)
    • The use of e-cigarettes in smoke-free places is not prohibited by the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990
    • Sale, supply or distribution to minors (under 18) is illegal

    The Netherlands

    (Permitted)

    Overview

    Import, sale and use of e-cigarette products including thoise with nicotine is legal. This however has not been from a lack of effort from the government. The government attempted a blanket ban, but it was overturned at law: the ‘s-Gravenhage court in Holland legalised the import and sale of electronic cigarettes and nicotine-containing e-liquids, in a civil court case 414117/KGAZ 12-209. Judgement is as follows:

    1. The court allows e-cigarettes to be imported from outside the EU to be sold in The Netherlands and prohibits the Dutch Government from actions against the import and sales. (The government had imposed a ban on import and sale, based on pharmaceutical classification.)
    2. The court ruled that electronic cigarettes are not to be considered pharmaceutical products. (13 March 2012)

    In 2016 sale to minors (under 18) was prohibited as well as advertising for vaping products.

    Norway

    (Partially Permitted)

    Overview

    Norway allows for the sale and use of non-nicotine vaping products. Nicotine liquids are howerver allowed if imported for personal use from an EU member state as long as its for smoking cessation. This is because the Norwegian Tobacco Act forbids the import and sale of new tobacco products and/or nicotine products, a classification that is applied to nicotine-containing ecig products. However it is prohibited to sell to minors (under 18) as well as market the products in any way.

    Oman

    (Banned)

    Overview

    Oman banned the sale and importation of vaping equipment and liquids in December 2015. However a senior official at the Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP) also confirmed that they don’t target individuals but prevent people from selling or distributing it for health reasons. “It is not a crime to vape here,” the official asserted. In more positive news an official from the Oman ministry of Health has announced that they plan to do a study on the number of vapers in Oman, a precursor to possible relaxation of vaping laws.

    Phillipines

    (Permitted)

    Overview

    In the Philippines, the sale of e-cigarettes remains entirely unregulated, which makes the devices freely available to children and teenagers. However, The Philippine Medical Association last year (2015) issued a recommendation to city administrations across the country to expand their smoking bans for public places and on transportation to also include e-cigarettes. Furthermore, legislative measures seem to be underway to regulate the sale and use of Vapers. On April 10, 2016, the Philippines’ FDA issued an advisory, which said that the electronic cigarette is not a proven nicotine replacement therapy, and the authority reiterated the WHO’s statement that there is no scientific evidence to confirm the product’s safety and efficacy. Approximately one week after the statement, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) urged local government units to enact ordinances regulating the sale and use of e-cigarettes in their respective localities. Towards the end of the same month, the Philippine E-Cigarette Industry Association (PECIA) – composed of store owners, suppliers, and manufacturers of electronic cigarettes and related products – was formed and is anticipated to also work towards clearer regulation.

    Russia

    (Permitted)

    Overview

    The use, sale and importation of e-cigarettes is permitted in Russia. This was confirmed last year after a formal request was submitted via the website of the Parliament of the Russian Federation. The official reply from the Department of Health at the Russian Ministry of Health stated that electronic cigarettes are not tobacco products and therefore the restrictions on their sale and consumption do not apply.

    Singapore

    (Banned)

    Overview

    The country currently bans the import, distribution, sale, and use of e-smoking devices of any description under section 16 (1) of its Tobacco Act, which is enforced by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA). The Act defines e-cigarettes as “any confectionery or other food product or any toy or other article that is designed to resemble a tobacco product or the packaging of which is designed to resemble the packaging commonly associated with tobacco products.”

    South Africa

    (Partially Permitted)

    Overview

    South African vaping laws are currently ambiguous in nature and enforcement. The industry in South Africa is booming despite them being technically illegal to sell from anywhere other then a pharmacy. In addition the department of Health is pushing hard to have vapers categorised the same as cigarettes according to Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi: “In the last framework (at the) Convention on Tobacco Control of the World Health Organisation held in South Korea recently, the decision was that we need to package e-cigarettes as just any other type of cigarette.”

    Published in the Medical Chronicle in 2012 was a change to the nicotine scheduling status by the MCC (Medicines Control Council). Nicotine is classed as a S3 substance if it is intended as an aid to smoking or as a substitution for atobacco product. Exceptions are however made for products that comply with the requirements for sale in a pharmacy as S1 or 2 substances, and for those that may be sold as S0 products, i.e. in general retail outlets. Unfortunately when clarification was sought the MCC confirmed that electronic cigarettes are subject to medical scheduling and can only be sold at pharmacies. However enforcement of these laws seems non-existent at this point.

    South Korea

    (Permitted)

    Overview

    In South Korea the sale, manufacture, import, export, and use of electronic cigarettes is entirely legal. Unfortunately electronic smoking devices as well as accessories are classified as tobacco products, whether they actually dispense or contain nicotine or not, and are thus subject to Korea’s tobacco control legislation. Tobacco taxes, and therefore retail prices, are extremely high.

    Sweden

    (Permitted)

    Overview

    E-cigarettes and nicotine-free cartridges may be sold, but nicotine-containing refills were prohibited. In 2015 there was a failed legal challenge to get this changed. However in 2016 there was another court challenge that was successful. Companies wanting to distribute electronic cigarettes in Sweden have previously required a stamp of approval from the country’s Medical Products Agency (Läkemedelsverket), which has also been able to ban sales. Sweden’s Supreme Administrative Court ruled that e-cigarettes are not medical products and therefore the agency could not oppose its sale. “To be a medical product, it must have the ability to prevent or treat a disease and, therefore, provide a beneficial effect on human health,” the court’s ruling read. The e-cigarettes “do not contain instructions on how they could be used to reduce the consumption of cigarettes or nicotine addiction”, according to the court.

    It is still illegal to sell vaping equipment to minors (under 18) and vape in non-smoking areas.

    Thailand

    (Banned)

    Overview

    In November 2014, Thailand approved legislation outlawing the import of e-cigarettes into the country. This has since been expanded to the export as well as sale of e-smoking devices and equipment. Personal possession doesn’t seem to be illegal, though, and the popular internet-based vaping forum Ashtray Blog points out that travellers haven’t had problems bringing devices through customs.

    UK

    (Permitted)

    Overview

    UK e-cigarette laws are essentially derived from the EU, although other EU members have additional regulations. However with the UK leaving the EU this point may become moot. Also the UK is unique in terms of the quantity of regulations applied specifically to e-cigarettes. This comes as no surprise when you realise that the UK has the highest number of vapers and industry bodies actively lobbying the government for clarification and vaping freedoms. E-cigarettes are covered by no less then 17 statutes ranging from packaging to marketing plans painting a clear legal picture when it comes to vaping. Currently:

    • It is legal to purchase e-cigarette equipment and liquids that contain nicotine.
    • It is legal to advertise e-cigarette products
    • It is legal to vape in non-smoking areas (e-cigarettes are not considered smoking)
    • E-cigarettes are considered a consumer product and not currently covered by tobacco and medical control legislation
    • E Cigarettes can not be marketed as a smoking cessation aid
    • E Cigarette products can not be sold to minors (under 18)

    However the EU updated their Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) on the 20th May 2016. These changes are:

    • The maximum size of refill containers of nicotine containing liquid is 10ml
    • Maximum size of cartridges or tanks do no exceed 2ml
    • Maximum nicotine strength of e-liquid is 20mg
    • Electronic cigarettes must provide a consistent dose of nicotine
    • E-cigs and refill containers must have a mechanism to ensure leak free refilling
    • If a “competent authority” believes any product may present a health risk they may be prohibited (Basically if three member states ban the e-cigarettres this can be extended to a blanket ban on all EU states.

    United States

    (Permitted)

    Overview

    Electronic cigarettes are currently considered to be unregulated tobacco products which means they are fairly unrestricted in a legal sense. However the FDA has already tried unsuccessfully to have them banned in 2010 and seems intent on imposing heavy restrictions at least. On May 5 2016 the FDA introduced new laws to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors (under 18) as well as regulation on manufacturers to submit new products to the FDA for approval, reporting ingredients and placing health warnings on the packaging.

    • It is legal to purchase e-cigarette equipment and liquids that contain nicotine.
    • It is legal to advertise e-cigarette products
    • It is legal to vape in non-smoking areas (state laws may supersede this)
    • E-cigarettes are considered an unregulated tobacco product
    • E Cigarette products can not be sold to minors (under 18)

    There is quite a discrepancy in vaping laws across the states. For example many states have banned indoor vaping and some have no specific legislation towards vaping. Take a look at the differing laws amongst the states:

    Alabama

    • Sales to minors and use by minors is illegal

    Alaska

    • No state specific regulations

    Arizona

    • Sales to minors is illegal
    • Displaying e-cigarette products near candy is prohibited

    Arkansas

    • Sales to minors is illegal
    • Use in specific areas is illegal – schools, child care places and state government buildings

    California

    • Sales to minors is illegal

    Colorado

    • Sales to minors is illegal
    • Use in specific areas is illegal – schools, child care places and state government buildings

    Connecticut

    • Sales to minors is illegal

    Delaware

    • Sales to minors is illegal
    • Use in specific areas is illegal – schools, child care places and state government buildings

    Florida

    • Sales to minors is illegal

    Georgia

    • Sales to minors is illegal

    Hawaii

    • Sales to minors is illegal
    • Use in specific areas is illegal – schools, child care places and state government buildings

    Idaho

    • Sales to minors and use by minors is illegal

    Illinois

    • Sales to minors and use by minors is illegal
    • Use in non-smoking areas is illegal

    Indiana

    • Sales to minors and use by minors is illegal

    Iowa

    • Sales to minors and use by minors is illegal
    • Use in non-smoking areas is illegal

    Kansas

    • Sales to minors and use by minors is illegal
    • Use in specific areas is illegal – schools, child care places and state government buildings

    Kentucky

    • Sales to minors and use by minors is illegal

    Louisiana

    • Sales to minors and use by minors is illegal

    Maine

    • No state specific regulations

    Maryland

    • Sales to minors is illegal
    • Use in specific areas is illegal – schools, child care places and state government buildings

    Massachusetts

    • No state specific regulations

    Michigan

    • Sales to minors and use by minors is illegal

    Minnesota

    • Sales to minors and use by minors is illegal
    • Use in non-smoking areas is illegal
    • Displaying e-cigarette products near candy is prohibited

    Mississippi

    • Sales to minors is illegal

    Missouri

    • No state specific regulations

    Montana

    • No state specific regulations

    Nebraska

    • Sales to minors and use by minors is illegal

    Nevada

    • No state specific regulations

    New Hampshire

    • Sales to minors is illegal
    • Use in specific areas is illegal – schools, child care places and state government buildings
    • Displaying e-cigarette products near candy is prohibited

    New Jersey

    • Use in non-smoking areas is illegal
    • Sales to minors and is illegal (under 19)

    New Mexico

    • No state specific regulations

    New York

    • Sales to minors is illegal

    North Carolina

    • Sales to minors is illegal

    North Dakota

    • Use in non-smoking areas is illegal

    Ohio

    • Sales to minors and use by minors is illegal

    Oklahoma

    • Sales to minors and use by minors is illegal
    • Use in specific areas is illegal – schools, child care places and state government buildings

    Oregon

    • Sales to minors and use by minors is illegal
    • Use in non-smoking areas is illegal
    • E-cigarettes can not be sold without competant suporting scientific evidence to support the products safety claims. In addition, the companies must give the Attorney General advance notice that they intend to sell electronic cigarettes in Oregon, provide copies of all electronic cigarette advertising, and provide copies of the scientific studies they maintain substantiates their claims.

    Pennsylvania

    • No state specific regulations

    Rhode Island

    • Sales to minors and use by minors is illegal
    • Use in specific areas is illegal – schools, child care places and state government buildings

    South Carolina

    • Sales to minors is illegal

    South Dakota

    • Sales to minors and use by minors is illegal
    • Use in specific areas is illegal – schools, child care places and state government buildings

    Tennessee

    • Sales to minors and use by minors is illegal

    Texas

    • Sales to minors is illegal

    Utah

    • Use in non-smoking areas is illegal
    • Prisoners and people in mental health facilities are banned from vaping

    Vermont

    • Sales to minors and use by minors is illegal
    • Use in non-smoking areas is illegal

    Virginia

    • Sales to minors and use by minors is illegal
    • Use in specific areas is illegal – schools, child care places and state government buildings

    Washington

    • Sales to minors and use by minors is illegal
    • Use in specific areas is illegal – schools, child care places and state government buildings

    West Virginia

    • Sales to minors and use by minors is illegal

    Wisconsin

    • Sales to minors is illegal

    Wyoming

    • Sales to minors and use by minors is illegal