E-cigarettes or vapes are essentially handheld devices that are battery powered vaporisers. These devices simulate smoking by adhering to the behavioural aspects of smoking by maintaining a hand-to-mouth gesture and generating smoke with the exception of not combusting any tobacco. This essentially makes them much safer than smoking cigarettes. The act of using an e-cigarette is known as vaping, the device is called a vape and the individual using it is called a vaper. E-cigarettes or vapes are also popularly known as ENDS or Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, these products essentially create “smoke” or an aerosol by heating e-liquids. These e-liquids contain flavourings, Glycerin and may or may not contain nicotine. While ENDS are much safer than cigarettes, they are also popularly used when smokers are trying to quit smoking.
Since vaping products and ENDS are essentially new, they aren’t fully regulated on a global basis and countries around the world have different rules and regulations surrounding vaping devices. While some countries are pro-vaping, others are against it, and the remaining do not have any laws about it at all. Listed below are the top 10 countries that are pro-vaping, and have realised the benefits associate with it:
In the United States, the FDA or Food and Drug Administration regulates ENDS and e-cigarettes and their usage and sale are both considered legal in the country. However, while the consumption of e-cigarettes is legal, sellers need a marketing order obtained from the FDA in order to sell it in stores.
The United Kingdom is one of the only countries in the world that has all laws in place for e-cigarettes and regulates their use. The use, sale and consumption of e-cigarettes and vapes is completely legal in the United Kingdom, and the National Health Service or NHS has also conducted multiple studies about vaping and related products. Owing to these studies, certain hospitals and medical clinics in the United Kingdom are experimenting with prescribing ENDS to patients that are hoping to stop smoking. Residents are also allowed vaping in public across the UK.
The use and sale of vaping products in Greece is completely legal, but age-restricted and allowed for those above 18 only for vaping products containing nicotine.
In Costa Rica, which is a popular travel and tourist destination, e-cigarettes and vapes are completely allowed. They are treated under the same category as regular cigarettes, and hence while their import, use and sale is allowed, users cannot use them in public places, and neither can sellers advertise them.
In Czech Republic – which is once again a popular tourist destination – the use, sale and consumption of e-cigarettes is completely allowed and legal in all pertaining capacity.
In Israel, the use, sale and consumption of vapes and vaping products is completely legal. This ruling came after an initial ban which was proposed by the Israeli Ministry of Health, but was overruled by the Supreme Court of Israel.
The Netherlands has relaxed rules in all of Europe, and hence allows vaping and vape related products for all citizens, residents and travellers. While there was an initial ban, it was overruled by the courts in the country in 2012 which opened the use and import of all vaping related products.
The use and sale of vaping products in Switzerland is completely legal, and this ruling came only a few years ago.
The use and sale of vaping products in Spain is completely legal, but is banned in public places including enclosed public spaces and outside hospitals.
Vape users can find vaping products all across Germany and the country even has dedicated shops that feature only vape products. The use and sale of vaping products in Germany is completely legal, but of course is age-restricted and only allowed for those 18 or above.
Other than the above mentioned, there are certain countries that do not restrict the consumption of ENDS and e-cigarettes in any way, there is a ban on the sales and selling of e-liquids that contain nicotine. In Australia, a similar ban is followed under the Poisons Legislation, and individuals can use and consume vaping products that do not contain nicotine. Similarly, in China, while certain regions allow the full use, sale and consumption of vaping products, some regions have strict bans. Similar to Australia, Japan has also partially allowed the use of e-cigarettes in the country as long as no e-cigarettes containing nicotine are used, marketed or sold. New Zealand also only allows partial permission for its residents and allows only those vaping products that do not contain any nicotine. New Zealand classified ENDS products that contain nicotine as medicine.