Policies Restricting E-cigarettes in Countries Around the World

Policies Restricting E-cigarettes in Countries Around the World

In some countries, e-cigarettes are completely illegal, including sale and possession. Bans are most common in Asia, the Middle East and South America. Australia has a bizarre model of prescription-only vaping products, where unauthorized imports can result in huge fines. In Japan, nicotine vaping products are illegal, but heated tobacco products like IQOS are completely legal and widely used.

Some countries ban the use and sale entirely, others just ban the sale, and still others only ban products containing nicotine. In many countries, the law is ignored and the black market thrives. In other cases, they are enforced (but those still have a black market). If a country is not listed, then e-cigarettes are either permitted or regulated, or there are no specific laws governing e-cigarettes (as they are now anyway).

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Antigua and Barbuda: legal use, illegal sale

Argentina: Legal use, illegal sale

Australia: Legal to use, it is illegal to possess nicotine without a doctor's prescription. Illegally importing nicotine can be subject to fines of up to $222,000. Penalties for possession vary by state, but can also be very severe

Bangladesh: Bangladesh currently has no laws or regulations specifically targeting e-cigarettes. However, in 2021, the government announced that it will update the country's tobacco control laws to ban the sale of e-cigarettes outright.

Bhutan: Legal use, illegal sale

Brazil: Legal use, illegal sale

Brunei Darussalam: Legal use, illegal sale

Cambodia: Prohibited: illegal use, illegal sale

Chile: Legal use, illegal sale (except for approved medical products)

Colombia: Legal use, illegal sale

Timor-Leste: Believed to be banned

Egypt: Legal use, illegal sale - although the country may be on the verge of regulating vaping products

Ethiopia: considered legal to use, illegal to sell

Gambia: Considered illegal use, illegal sale

Hong Kong, China: Legal use, illegal sale. The ban on the sale, import, manufacture and promotion of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products goes into effect on April 30, 2022.

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India: Legal use, illegal sale. In September 2019, the central government of India banned the sale of vaping products. The government is well aware that 100 million Indians smoke and that tobacco kills nearly a million people every year, so it has done nothing to reduce access to cigarettes. Not coincidentally, the Indian government owns a significant portion of the country's largest tobacco company

Iran: considered legal to use, illegal to sell

Jamaica: Legal use, illegal sale of nicotine-containing products without medical clearance

Japan: Legal use, legal sale of devices and zero-nicotine e-liquid, but illegal sale of nicotine-containing liquids (although individuals can import nicotine-containing products, with some restrictions). Heated Tobacco Products (HTPs) like IQOS are legal and very popular

Kuwait: considered legal to use, illegal to sell

Laos: illegal use, illegal sale

Lebanon: Legal use, illegal sale

Malaysia: Legal use, illegal sale of nicotine-containing products. Although consumer sales of nicotine-containing products are illegal, Malaysia has a thriving e-cigarette market. Authorities occasionally raid retailers and confiscate products. Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Penang and Terengganu completely ban the sale of all vaping products (even without nicotine)

Mauritius: legal use, illegal sale

Mexico: Legal use, illegal sale. Mexico's president issued a decree in May 2022 banning the sale of all e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products. The law includes nicotine-free products

Myanmar: considered banned

Nepal: Legally used, possibly sold illegally (though the government itself seems unsure)

Nicaragua: considered illegal to use, illegal to sell

North Korea: Banned

Oman: considered legal to use, illegal to sell

Panama: Legal use, illegal sale

Qatar: Prohibited: illegal use, illegal sale

Seychelles: Legal use, illegal sale. However, in 2019 the country announced its intention to legalize and regulate e-cigarettes

Singapore: Prohibited: Illegal use, illegal sale. As of 2018, possession of e-cigarettes is a crime punishable by fines and even jail time. However, the threat of prosecution won't stop a thriving black market

Sri Lanka: Legal use, illegal sale

Suriname: legal use, illegal sale

Syria: Prohibited: illegal use, illegal sale

Thailand: considered legal to use, illegal to sell. Thailand has gained a reputation for enforcing bans on the import and sale of vaping products in recent years, with several high-profile incidents in recent years, including the detention and even deportation of vaping tourists

Timor-Leste: Legal use, illegal sale

Turkey: Legally used, illegally imported. Importing vaping products is illegal in Turkey, and when the country reiterated its ban in 2017, the World Health Organization issued a press release cheering the decision. But Turkey's laws are conflicting, and Turkey has an e-cigarette market and an e-cigarette community

Turkmenistan: considered legal to use, illegal to sell

Uganda: Legal use, illegal sale

United States: Legal to use, legal to sell - but as of September 9, 2021, the sale of products not authorized by the FDA will technically be illegal. While no state has completely banned the sale of vaping products, many have banned flavored products or online sales. Some California cities, notably San Francisco, have banned the sale of all e-cigarettes

Uruguay: Legal use, illegal sale

Vatican City: considered banned

Venezuela: Legally used, considered illegal to sell unless approved as a medical product

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