Vaping Laws around the World

Despite the general consensus among those that vape -along with the majority of the general public-that switching from traditional cigarettes to E Cigarettes is a healthier, safer practice,   2016 is still set to be the year that the TPD changes vaping in the UK.

The introduction of increased restrictions and regulations means that choice of devices, flavours and nicotine strength will be reduced within the EU. But what about the rest of the world?  With little definitive research carried out, and allegedly a lot of ‘gentle persuasion’ from the large tobacco companies, many of us are left wondering how restrictive other countries across the globe are.

There appears to be so many conflicting views when it comes to the health benefits that vaping can bring, and the legalities differ entirely country to country, so read on to know where you stand when vaping around the world.

Wales – Despite both Cancer Research and ASH opposing the ban, the Welsh government are set to implement the bill that will see the use of E-Cigarettes restricted in enclosed and partially enclosed public areas and places of work. Ministers will also have the power to make non-enclosed spaces smoke free.

Scotland In a decision that has been called ‘counter-productive’, E Cigarettes have been banned from being used on all but one hospital grounds, along with cigarettes. The board of NHS Lothian are the only one to have restricted the use of E Cigarettes to designated outdoor areas.

America – Widely permitted how regulations regarding e cigarettes and refills are soon to be regulated by the FDA. However, individual states are permitted to impose their own restrictions on the use, sale (usually surrounding the sale to minors and displays/advertising within shops) and in some states, scientific evidence that supports safety claims.

Brazil – E Cigarettes are regulated in the same way as tobacco products and the import, sale and marketing are prohibited. Thanks to an ANVISA ‘study’, vaping in Brazil is completely banned.

France – The French government have adopted a ‘partial permission’ approach. E Cigarettes and liquid are considered to be consumer goods unless the liquid contains nicotine to the strength of 10mg or higher unless it has been granted an MA (marketing authorisation) by one of the regulatory health bodies.

Spain – Vaping in Spain is legal, however it is restricted in the same way that smoking – and the Spanish Government adopted pretty strict legislation. This means that the use of E Cigarettes in banned in public places, enclosed spaces and outside public buildings such as hospitals.

Belgium – Only nicotine Free E-cigarettes and E-liquid is legal. Vaping is banned in the same places that smoking would be. Nicotine products are classed as a medical product.

Germany – It is legal to use E Cigarettes, along with selling and importing them. It has taken a number of court rulings to ensure that the products are classified as consumer products rather than regulated as pharmaceuticals under the Medicines Act.

Queensland, Australia – Nicotine is classed as a regulated poison and obtaining/possessing nicotine is prohibited. The importation and sale of items that are nicotine free are not restricted. (The regulations in Australia vary between states.)

New Zealand – You are permitted to import for personal use, but the sale of e liquid and cartridges containing nicotine is illegal.

Malta – The use and sale of E Cigarettes is permitted but the products fall under the Tobacco Act. This means that they cannot be advertised, used by anyone under 18 or used in enclosed spaces.

Mexico – Total ban in place. Because of its similarity to a tobacco product, all sales, production, importation or advertisement is completely prohibited.

China – Despite the fact that China is the main producer of E cigarettes and E liquid, there are regional issues that are affecting the overall decision that vaping is legal. There are many stories about the sheer amount of money the Chinese Government make from smoking and the practice doesn’t appear to have decreased in recent years the way that it has in the western world (are they shielding their people from the health information to maintain revenue?) In some provinces, the sale and possession is illegal.


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