October 23, 2020 4 min read

Do you know you could land yourself in Jail in some countries for vaping or using e-cigarette products? Yeah, that’s because some countries ban vaping, some tag it as illegal, while some restrict it completely. So as you plan to visit your country of interest on your next holiday, ensure you check if you can travel with your e-cigarettes.

The regulatory situation of vaping and the use of e-cigarette vary widely around the world. The laws surrounding vaping are still evolving, with the government adjusting their rules based on new information about the effect of vaping.

The World Health Organization (WHO), in 2014, released a framework on tobacco control (which serves as a guideline for laws and regulations), and this has led several countries to ban or place heavy restrictions on e-cigarettes. The guideline seems to satisfy the alarmist propaganda of busybodies and public health activists from the time period.

The claim has been that there isn’t enough evidence to support that vaping is less harmful than smoking, that e-cigarettes help smokers quit smoking, and that vape products entice teenagers to start vaping because of the varieties of flavors available. Hence, WHO issued new advice claiming vaping has a strong link to lung and health damage.

The statement from the organization following their study in 2016 recommends the outright banning of e-cigarette in indoor areas and places where smoking is prohibited.

This has a big effect on many counties, which led them to place a ban on vape pens and vape products altogether.

However, some countries allow the possession of e-cigarettes, but ban the sale of these products, while some other ban nicotine-containing liquids.

Also, some countries (tagged as the strictest countries) forbid or frown at everything from the sale and the import to the general use of e-cigarette or vaping products. Even bringing your e-liquid or vape kit to some countries like Thailand, where vaping is banned can send you to jail for up to 10 years.

Countries where vaping is banned or restricted

To help you stay guided on your next holiday, we have compiled an extensive list of countries where vaping is banned. So ensure you check the rules before you leave.

However, note that laws change regularly, and there is still no central repository for information as regards vaping worldwide.

The list below comes from a combination of sources: Global Tobacco Control Site, Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction report, and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ Tobacco Control Laws website.

Some countries place a total ban on use and sales, many place a ban on just sales, and some ban only nicotine-containing products. However, some countries ignore the laws, while others enforce it. So, ensure you check properly with a reliable source before traveling to any part of the world with vaping gear and e-liquid.

If you know of any law that has changed, we welcome new information – You can drop a comment and we’ll update our list.

Countries, where vaping is currently banned, include:

  • Argentina

  • Belgium

  • Brazil

  • Austria

  • Columbia

  • East Timor

  • Indonesia

  • Iran

  • India

  • Jordan

  • Lebanon

  • Brunei

  • Egypt

  • Cambodia

  • Kuwait

  • Mexico

  • Oman

  • Myanmar/Burma

  • Malaysia

  • Philippines

  • Panama

  • Qatar

  • Vietnam

  • Thailand

  • South Africa

  • Singapore

  • Taiwan

  • Venezuela

  • Uruguay

  • Tajikistan

Countries where vaping is restricted heavily include:

  • United States

  • Denmark

  • Finland

  • Australia

  • Hong Kong

  • Malaysia

  • Hungary

  • Japan

  • Norway

  • New Zealand

  • Saudi Arabia

  • Sweden

  • Turkey

  • Switzerland

  • South Africa

Several countries, including Australia and the United States, have inconsistent laws from states to states, and even from cities to cities.

India, having 11% of the world’s smokers, has banned e-cigarettes and they are currently working on placing a ban on vaping countrywide as a result of the mistaken belief that vaping pose more health risk than smoking.

Is E-liquid Legal?

Some countries that restrict e-cigarettes may still allow vaping but the use of e-liquids containing nicotine might be illegal.

Selling nicotine in countries like Australia is restricted and as it is seen as a poison and can only be sold by licensed bodies. They have very tight laws governing vaping, but quite inconsistent from state to state.

Vape pens are legal in the States in Australia except for Queensland, and no e-cig is permitted to use liquid nicotine. So most vapers tend to buy their e-juice from China or New Zealand (where the quality is questionable). Others simply buy liquid nicotine and mix it with the 0mg juice available in the country.

Hong Kong, much like Thailand, considers any e-liquid containing nicotine a poison, so possessing or selling these products can land you in jail for up to two years. Although E-cigs are still permitted but probably won’t too long anymore.

In Japan, vaping is allowed, but it is illegal to sell or buy e-liquids containing nicotine. That’s one reason why IQOS (I Quit Ordinary Smoking) and “Heat-not-burn devices” are so popular there. These products will probably become acceptable worldwide very soon, especially in countries where it is illegal to use liquid nicotine.

The United States, Canada, and many reputable tobacco companies are already starting to push these Heat not Burn Devices.

What Should I do before traveling to a foreign country?

A lot of people tend to buy e-cigarette supplies on the black market before moving to some countries, and this is mainly because it is illegal to sell e-juice there.

But what about quality? Many of these black market’s products are entirely questionable and should be avoided. You are often drawn to the price, but cheap e-liquids are usually counterfeit with unsafe ingredients.

So if you intend to vape in some countries listed above, and you don’t want to smoke, then you need to plan. You can get alternatives such as nicotine gum, pouches, or patches until you get back home.

However, if you plan to travel with your vape, ensure you check the local laws of that country, state, or city as they change constantly.

Final Remark

Do not completely rely on the list above. Avoid huge fines or ending up in foreign prisons. Make your findings and double-check. You can try forums or social media groups to learn much about the laws of the country you’re visiting.

Also, you can contact your embassy in that region or country to get useful information on local laws and customs.

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