In various parts of the world vaping is either hated or loved. Most of the hating comes from misinformation or propaganda spread by big Corporations with nefarious agendas. The misinformation has crept into politics and caused some Countries to adopt extreme rules and regulations in the e-cigarette industry.
We will breakdown each country but keep in mind things do change and sometimes changes happen without notice so make sure to look up recent changes if you plan on visiting these countries we list here.
Before we talk about we first need to get a clear understanding how e-cigarettes are defined.
Purpose and Use
E-cigarettes and refills are smoke-free, tobacco-free consumer products sold and used as a THR product. THR – Tobacco Harm Reduction product. They are neither a tobacco product (since nicotine content could come from any suitable vegetable source) nor a pharmaceutical product (as there is no intent to cure or treat a disease) or made to reduce smoking cessation (as THR products are designed for long term use). E-cigarettes are made for consumers to use as an alternate product to tobacco cigarettes. E-cigarettes are made for ongoing use with no intention as a treatment to stop or slow down any addiction. If people reduce or cease usage of the product, it is incidental to the primary purpose of the product which is a reduced-harm substitute to smoking.
Pharmaceutical licensing/ Bans
Currently there is not one medical license issued in any country for any e-cigarette or nicotine-containing refill. So where medical licenses and or prescriptions are required we listed that country as banned. In essence it is a de facto ban. The MHRA in the United Kingdom has confirmed that there maybe 1,000’s of products currently offered no one would be capable of receiving a medical license to use. This in fact means a new innovative e-cigarette would have to be brought to the industry before any medical licenses application will succeed.
No e-cigarette has a license and it would take a minimum of 3 years to get one.
There might an instance where a license has been granted and the product maybe called an e-cigarette but it really is a medical inhaler that does not contain e-cig technology.
Personal Imports
Personal imports and commercial imports are obviously different. This applies in almost every country. As an example where e-cigarette or nicotine refill juice is banned, it usually applies to commercial imports via customs. Personal imports are generally not affected.
The 2 Tier System
Many countries have implemented a two tier system. Easily defined as products with nicotine and products without nicotine.
• Hardware does not have nicotine
• Refills without nicotine
• Refills with nicotine generally require a license (units sold as pre-filled with nicotine). For practical reasons this a de facto ban

– Banned
Resolution 3226/2011 bans the importation, distribution, commercialization and advertising of e-cigarettes

– Two tier system
Permitted, if without nicotine.
Legislation only applies to products that contain nicotine
There are currently no laws restricting non-nicotine products

– Banned
Electronic cigarettes are recognized as medical devices and nicotine cartridges are known as medical products. Products need a license.

– Two Tier System
Permitted without nicotine
Licensing applies to products containing nicotine
Vaping is prohibited where smoking is prohibited (indoor public places)
Personal import of refills with nicotine is legal if
1. It’s for personal use
2. Sold by a vendor located in the EU where these products are allowed
Vapers’ association of Belgium

– Banned
Regulated as tobacco products. Import, sale and marketing are prohibited

– Banned
Sales are prohibited because it is considered an imitation of a tobacco product. $10,000 fines can be given

– Two tier System
Canada attempts to implement a two tier system but according to Health Canada there is no legal foundation to implement such action
E-cigarettes are not banned in Canada

It seems like the sale of hardware is allowed, non-nic refills are allowed, and nicotine refills are not prohibited. It has been reported that vendors who refuse to submit to illegal threats cannot be prosecuted, since there is no applicable law.
E-Cigarettes are NOT banned in Canada

– Permitted but varies from region to region
Sale and use of e-cigarettes seem to be legal

– Banned

Costa Rica
– Permitted
Importation is regulated just like tobacco
Importation requires a special declaration
Sales are regulated just like tobacco. Age restrictions are enforced behind the counter
No advertising
Use is restricted in public places
No regulation on strength of nicotine and flavors
Public advertising is forbidden but some flexibility in adult only places that have not been designated as “smoke free”
Web sales is allowed as long as age of buyer is determined
Not allowed to sell via telephone, digital, electronic, internet, mail or any method where it is not possible to verify age. Some web vendors attempt to verify age by having buyer provide ID.

Czech Republic
– Permitted
Import and sales is unrestricted

– Two Tier System
Permitted without nicotine
Licensing is required for refills containing nicotine
NO laws restricting sale and promotion of non-nic products

– Permitted
A state pharmaceutical agency ban on e-cigarettes had been overturned. Litigation was brought by E-lites brand. The agency removed the ban since they had missed an appeal date

European Union
– Permitted
Import, Sale and advertisement is permitted
Individual Countries have individual regulations
Vendors admit the problem free countries are UK, Germany, and Italy but we like to add Holland and Czech Republic since they are unrestricted

– Partially permitted
Products are looked as consumer goods regulated by general product safety regulations unless the meet the criteria of medical licensing

– Two Tier System
Non-nic liquids and devices can be sold in Finland

– Permitted
Import, Sales and use is permitted

– Unclear
Some say import, sales and use is unrestricted but it seems that imports may be problematic

Hong Kong
– Two Tier System
E-cigarettes containing nicotine are classified as licensable products
– Two Tier System
Products that contain nicotine are subject to licensing

– Banned

– Unclear
Possible banned due to nicotine in refills

– Permitted
Import and sales are permitted

– Permitted
Imports, sales and use are unrestricted

– Permitted
Import, sale and use are permitted

– Two Tier System
Nicotine products are classified as unlicensed medical products

– Banned

Korea, Republic of
– Permitted
Considered a tobacco product and is subject to tobacco regulations

– Permitted
Permitted for individuals over 18 years old

– Banned

– Permitted
Considered a tobacco product

– Unclear

– Banned

– Permitted
Import, sales and use is permitted

– Two Tier System
Nicotine products are prohibited. All marketing is prohibited

– Banned

– Permitted
Import, distribution and sale is permitted

– Banned

– Permitted
Import, sales and use is permitted

– Banned

South Africa
– Two Tier System
Nicotine products are prohibited

– Two Tier System
– Nicotine products are prohibited

– Two Tier System
Zero nicotine products are permitted

– Banned

– Permitted
Electronic cigarette sales and use is unrestricted

– Banned

– Banned

– Permitted with restrictions
Use of ecigs is not allowed in public places

United Arab Emirates UAE including Dubai
– Prohibited

United Kingdom
– Permitted
Import, sale, advertising and use are permitted. There are some restrictions on advertising
UK is the only country in the world where e-cigarettes are regulated comprehensively
As a smoking alternative e-cigarettes are unrestricted by medical and tobacco controls

– Permitted
Import, sales, advertising, and use is permitted
FDA announced their intention to regulate e-cig and refills as a tobacco product
Currently products are unregulated
U.S States have power to introduce their own regulations
Several states impose indoor restrictions

– Banned

– Banned