DOSSIER: The regulation of the e-cigarette in the world, or can we vape?

DOSSIER: The regulation of the e-cigarette in the world, or can we vape?

Here is a legitimate question for those who travel, because there are countries where you do not joke with the e-cigarette. Too many are still nations or vaping can be considered a criminal act. For reasons that are often obscure and contrary to serious scientific studies, these states prohibit, prevent and sometimes punish what is at first merely a personal desire to escape the tobacco tragedy.


The various laws may vary, according to successive governments or societal progress or retreat, so I do not affirm the completeness or timeliness of the information you will discover below. We will say that this is a snapshot, witnessing the first months of 2019, which will probably undergo changes in the coming times. We just want the majority color to go well in the direction of the major health evolution that represents the vape ...


On the map, you can observe, in green, the places that allow the vape, except in closed public places (cinemas, hotels, museums, administrations ...) where the legislation forbids it commonly.

In light orangeit is not necessarily clear precisely. In fact, the regulations in this area may vary according to the regions visited and you will have to learn more about the conditions in which you will be able to vaper, without incurring the risk of having your equipment confiscated, and / or having to pay a fee. fine.

In dark orangeit is very regulated and not necessarily in the sense that suits us. In Belgium or Japan, for example, it is allowed to vape without nicotine liquid. In other words, it is forbidden to vape freely and you will have every chance of being tested and having to prove that your vial is indeed nicotine-free.

In redwe forget altogether. There is a risk of confiscation, a fine or, as in Thailand, a guaranteed imprisonment. It happened to a French tourist who did not really have to enjoy her vacation as she would have liked.

In white, the countries of which it is difficult to know with precision, or sometimes even "roughly", the legislation in force on the subject (certain countries of Africa and the Middle East). Again, find out and bring only minimalist and inexpensive material, without too much to find a shop to do your little cloud market.


Whatever the case may be, wherever you go, take the appropriate information to avoid getting into trouble. Do not try to hide your equipment at customs. At best, you risk confiscating it. At worst you will also have to pay a fine for attempting to introduce fraudulent object / substance into the country in question.

On the water, in principle, it is without too much trouble. If you are in international waters and in your own boat, nothing prevents you from indulging in the vape.

From the moment you enter the territorial waters and / or you travel in a cruise ship (group trip) you will be subject :

1. The internal rules of the company that transports you.
2. To the laws of the country on which the territorial waters in which you are located depend. This second case is also valid in your own boat, store your equipment away from view in case of unexpected control. You can always argue that you are following the law and that you are vaping only outside the waters of the country in question.


After this little topo general, we will go to particular cases by trying to detail a little better the various situations and official positions, when they exist, contentious countries or really hostile.

As a general rule, when e-liquids, nicotine or non-nicotine, are allowed, the age limit for obtaining or using them is the age of the majority of the country concerned. Advertisements to promote the vape are not tolerated or tolerated. It is also forbidden to vape almost anywhere that smoking is prohibited. I invite you to a little tour of the world of peculiarities.


Belgium is the most restrictive western European country for liquids. No nicotine on sale, period. For physical stores, It is now forbidden to have an e-liquid tested in a sales area because it is a closed place welcoming the public. In Belgium, vaper is subject to the same constraints as the conventional cigarette because the Council of State considers that the products of the vape, even without nicotine, are assimilated to tobacco products. In addition, to vape in the street, the consumer must be able to provide a purchase invoice in case of control. On the other hand, consumption of pre-filled e-liquids and cartridges containing nicotine is permitted. An additional paradox that does not really simplify the equation.

Norway is not in the EU and has independent laws. Here, it is forbidden to vape nicotine liquids unless you are in possession of a medical certificate attesting to your need for nicotine e-liquid to stop smoking.

Austria has adopted a similar system to Norway. Here, the vape is considered a medical substitute and only the possession of a prescription will allow you to vape without hassle.

In Central Europewe did not find any significant restrictions or regulations. However, take the basic precautions you need if you have to stay in these countries for a while, such as contacting the embassy or consulate before your trip. In addition to the specific legislative information specific to the vape, it will be better to plan your autonomy in juice and equipment.


As a general rule, tourist status gives rise to a certain benevolence of the authorities in African countries where the vape is tolerated. By respecting local regulations such as restrictions on the use of cigarettes in public or in some places you should be able to go quietly. Do not provoke, do not display ostensibly your difference of manners and people will not hold you rigor of your difference or your behaviors.

Tunisia. Here, all products of the vape are subject to the monopoly of the National Tobacco Board which manages imports and regulates sales. Do not expect too much to buy the latest generation equipment, let alone premium juices, unless you have access to the ubiquitous parallel networks in the country at your own risk. You have the right to vape but, in public, we advise you a certain discretion and the respect of the rules.

The Morocco. In the tourist sites by the sea, no particular restrictions with however the concern of discretion which is imposed in the Moslem countries in a general way. There are vapshops and the juice trade is active. In the interior of the country, the network is less established but our readers did not note any coercive provisions on the vape.

Lebanon banned the vape in July 2016. If you can not do without vape, this is a destination to avoid.

Turkey. Although a priori you have the right to vape, the sale of products of the vape is strictly prohibited. Depending on the length of your stay, plan a few vials and promote discretion. As in all the Near / Middle East in a general way.


While the MEVS Vape Show held in Bahrain from 17 to 19 January 2019, bringing together professionals from around the world, including India and Pakistan, North Africa and Asia, vaper can be problematic in this part of the world, great caution is therefore required according to the countries you will cross.

Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Jordan : Total prohibition a priori (2017 data). A black market is gradually settling in these countries but, as a European foreigner, I advise you to take part unless you know someone you trust. In the United Arab Emirates, one of our readers reports that we have not encountered any particular problems since his e-liquid was analyzed at customs and he respected the rules of the smoking zones.

Sultanate of Oman : You can vaper but you will not find anything to equip or recharge in cash, any sale of products of the vape being prohibited.

South Africa. The state considers the vape as toxic for health. The country has adopted restrictive laws that make it one of the least tolerant in this area. The products are under import control and neutral in trade indications. A vaper is considered more or less as a drug addict, so you will not be safe from annoyances probably expensive.

Egypt. The country has not adopted enough defined legislation to make it clear. In tourist centers, the vape begins to make local followers, who manage to sell and buy the necessary, so you will certainly find a minimum of choice. Elsewhere in the country, take information on local practices, so as not to make oddities in the wrong place and suffer the inconvenience of use.

Uganda. Here it is rather simple. Any trade in the products of the vape is forbidden.

Tanzania. No regulations in this country but you will not find any business to help you out. Vap with discretion, take only cheap material and, as in Africa in general, avoid showing any outward sign of wealth.

Nigeria. As in Tanzania, there is no rule, except to not vape in public, not to offend anyone and not stir up the temptation of potential tourists.

Ghana. Since late 2018 the e-cigarette is banned in Ghana. Regulatory data and laws on the subject are really lacking for many countries of this immense continent. Laws, like governments, change. Also, I repeat, find out from consulates, embassies or tour operators if you do not know anyone on site. Do not leave without knowing a minimum to stick to it.


In Asia we find absolutely everything and its opposite in terms of legislation and regulations. From the most permissive to the most severe without any possibility of cutting there. In the case of the countries mentioned below, always the same advice, take information on the places where you will find yourself, in transit or for some time.

Japan. For vapers, it's darkness in the land of the rising sun. Authorities consider nicotine products to be unapproved drugs. They are therefore prohibited in all cases, including if you have a prescription. You can vape without nicotine and it is better to bring the bottle specifying it.

Hong Kong. We do not joke with health in Hong Kong: vape prohibited, prohibited trade, but you can buy as many cigarettes as you want ...

Thailand. Heavenly sites, expanses of turquoise water and ten years in prison if you have not read the sign at the entrance. The vape is totally forbidden and this is one of the most coercive countries against the vape.

Singapore. Like Thailand, you'll end up in prison if you do not respect the total ban on vape.

India. Since September2018, vaping is now prohibited in the six Indian states (Jammu, Kashmir, Karnataka, Punjab, Maharashtra and Kerala). It should be noted that, in many cases, the most restrictive vaping nations are also the largest tobacco producers / exporters, such as Brazil, India or Indonesia.

Philippines. The vape seems to be in the process of being allowed, under certain provisions being adopted, such as the ban in public places and the obligation of majority for purchases.

Vietnam. Total prohibition of use and sale.

Indonesia. Big producer of tobacco, the country authorizes the vape but tax to 57% nicotine liquids.

Taiwan. Here, nicotine products are considered drugs. The vape trade is totally subject to picky government agencies, so you will not find much. If you can not avoid the destination, consider having a prescription or medical certificate.

Cambodia. The country has banned the use and sale of vape products from 2014.

Sri Lanka. Very little information about the regulations in this country, however, a reader vapoteur who has visited this country tells us that there is no particular concern. You could even become the attraction of the local population. It is still advisable not to vapot before the temples.


Australia. It can certainly vaper ... but without nicotine. In some states, it is downright illegal to buy vape products, even at 0%. Australia is the only country on the continent to have such binding legislation. So prefer the Papua, New Guinea, New Zealand, Fiji or Solomon Islands if you have a choice.


Mexico. Vaper is "authorized" in Mexico but it is forbidden to sell, import, distribute, promote or buy any product of the vape. Legislation, created initially to regulate sales of chocolate cigarettes (!), Also applies to the vape. There is no explicit law to prohibit or authorize e-cigarettes, so you can try it while keeping in mind that in the absence of a clear law, the interpretation will be left to the police more or less zealous than you could cross ...

Cuba. Thanks to a lack of regulation, vaping is not considered illegal here. You will usually be able to vape wherever smoking is allowed. Stay discreet, remember that you are in the land of the cigar.

Dominican Republic . No clear rules there either. Some reported not having had trouble beating across the country, but confiscations of group arrivals by customs officers were also confirmed. In the same way as the import of alcohol, the entry of products of the vape on the territory seems to be badly tolerated by the officials.

Brésil. Any form of vaping is officially banned in Brazil. That being so, it seems that vaper is still tolerated in the smokers' premises, with your own equipment and your supply of juice. However, do not look for them there and do not try to sell or show new products packed to the customs, which it is better not to hide anything.

Uruguay. In 2017, the vape was totally prohibited. It seems that the legislation has not changed since.

Argentina. Vaper is totally prohibited, it's very simple.

Colombia. Not long ago, vape was strictly forbidden. However, the rules seem to be changing in the direction of relaxation. When in doubt, stay discreet and expect the worst in case of police control. Cheap equipment will be more easily left behind in case of confiscation.

Peru. No specific legislation. A priori, vaper does not seem illegal, some have even been able to buy refills in urban centers. A certain laxity seems to prevail, remain cautious all the same outside the big centers, which is not strictly prohibited being very well not to be strictly authorized everywhere.

Venezuela. The country going through a troubled period, the interpretation of the law, nonexistent in the state, will be different depending on your interlocutor. Avoid putting yourself in default.

Bolivia. This is the total lack of regulation. To consider the vape as forbidden seems to be the most prudent. Avoid exposing yourself in public if you succumb to the temptation anyway.


So here is the end of our little world tour that still leaves a lot of destinations where you will have no problem, respecting local laws and rules. One last time think to take the necessary information before leaving, not that for the vape besides, certain Western habits which can be very badly interpreted in countries of cultures / religions / different customs. As a guest and, in a sense, representatives of the vape, know how to live in a foreign country.

If you, during one of your journeys, find contradictions, evolutions, or inaccuracies in the article presented here, we will be obliged to you to share with the readers of this media, using the contacts for we communicate them. After verifications, we will make a point of integrating them to keep this information updated.

Thank you for your attentive reading and your next participation in the update of this file.

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About the Author

Antoine, the past half century, put an end to 35 years of smoking overnight thanks to the vape, laughing and lasting.