pack of cigarettesWith studies from reputable universities and health agencies people can no longer deny that they are exposed to lesser health issues with e-cigarettes and vape pens than tobacco cigarettes . The former delivers less nicotine than the latter. With the sudden popularity of electronic cigarettes , vape pens, and even vape mods around the world since emergence in 2003, some countries have started to place laws and mandates that would regulate use, sale, and possession.

While some smokers are behind the trend and have not yet switched to vaping, they are smoking tobacco cigarettes which are fairly easy to get and are more accessible than vape pens and e-cigarettes.

This piece breaks down the score when it comes to government regulation of vaping around the world. This article will prove to be useful for people who are planning to travel to a foreign country and are in doubt whether or not vaping is allowed in their destination.

man vaping


While the EU (European Union) has no exact and clear law that directly prohibits the use of e-cigarettes and vape pens, its Directive 2001 / 95 / EC on general product provides ‘restrictive measures’ that allow e-cigarettes and vape pens to be prohibited if they are proven to cause issues in public safety and health in the future. This directive does not show that EU is against vaping, but that it does reserves the right to ban it if becomes something to be concerned about. This means that the European Union gives discretion to their allied countries to decide whether or not they need to ban vaping. Their guidelines resulted in different laws and mandates across Europe.

France – Just recently, France’s Health Ministry mandated a ban on the use of vape pens and e-cigarettes in public places to support and align their existing ban on smoking traditional cigarettes and other tobacco-related products in public. The e-cigarette market in France is booming and this regulation came as a huge strike to almost one million French e-cigarette supporters. Marisol Touraine, France’s Health Minister, said in an interview that e-cigarettes are “no ordinary product” and that they encourage “mimicking and could promote taking up smoking.”

United Kingdom – As expected, Great Britain is far ahead of the United States when it comes to regulating e-cigarettes. In 2013, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency or MHRA released a statement that nicotine-containing products or NCP, which includes e-cigarettes and vape pens, will be regulated by the government. The MHRA is tasked with protecting the people of United Kingdom from unsafe and untested medical devices and medicines. With this classification, vape pens and e-cigarettes are now on the same level as patches, nicotine gums, and mouth sprays that are primarily created to help smokers wean off their cigarette smoking habits. By definition then, e-cig manufacturers duly licensed in the UK can now sell their product in the market as smoking cessation devices. Smokers in the UK are allowed to smoke and use their vape pens and e-cigarette anywhere smoking is allowed.

These are other regulations in the EU that you may want to know:

Austria and Denmark – They regulates vape pens and e-cigarettes as medicinal devices
Czech Republic – Fully legal to use, sell, and advertise e-cigarettes
Finland – Illegal to sell nicotine cartridges but those that contain less than 10mg of nicotine can be bought for private and personal use
Germany, Ireland, Poland, and Portugal – Legal to sell and use e-cigarettes and vape pens
Netherlands – Legal to sell and use e-cigarettes and vape pens, but advertised is prohibited.


One can be easily confused when it comes to the regulation of vape pens and e-cigarettes in the United States. Federally, the sale, usage, and advertisements of aforementioned devices are permitted, and each state has already established individual restrictions. For more information on a specific US state and its regulation on e-cigs, you may visit this reference.


Canada is opposed to the US’s more loose laws against e-cigarettes, and have imposed a rather stringent ban on the importation of e-cigarettes as they do not want e-cigarettes coming onto Canadian soil. It is legal to vape in Canada but the government has the right to seize NCPs that are being imported into their country. The government has nothing against the personal use of e-cigarettes, but you need to buy from a licensed dealer from Canada.


A strict ban on the usage, sale and purchase, and advertisement of e-cigarettes has been placed in Brazil as they consider them as “tobacco imitation” for the reason that their health agency called Anvisa found e-cigarettes and vape pens to be “lacking enough information.”


Currently, nicotine-containing devices are totally banned in Australia as the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration has yet to approve vape pens and e-cigarettes.


They regulate vape pens and e-cigarettes as medicinal products like the United Kingdom, although the use of nicotine-infused vaping products may soon be promoted once legalization is made final. More details about the proposal are cited here.


The fight over the regulation of e-cigarettes and vape pens is still not over for most countries. More and more countries are seeing the advantages of switching from regular cigarettes to these new devices that have helped millions of people across the globe quit smoking. It is only a matter of time until we see the rest of the world permit more use and sale. We covered this in Stoptober: are e-cigarettes a good enough switch Vaping is also a way to save money, as a starter kit is just a one-time purchase. After that, consumers just buy refills for juice.

If you recently switched to vaping and are thinking of traveling abroad, we hope that this article helped. Tell us your vaping story in the comments section!

Images used by stux and lindsayfox under Public Domain CC0

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