Exploring the Controversial World of E-Cigarette Bans

Exploring the Controversial World of E-Cigarette Bans

With the increasing popularity of vapes in different regions worldwide, many countries have banned this product due to its massive use among youngsters, especially teenagers. Most countries support e-cigarette production as it helps people get rid of tobacco cigarettes. Meanwhile, many countries are concerned about its long-term side effects, which are far more considerable than the benefits it provides.

According to the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction (GSTHR), despite all restrictions, almost 82 million people are addicted to e-cigarettes, 17 percent more than the statistics of 2020. So many people consume bundles of nicotine in their daily routine, and you can imagine how worse their mental health could be. Different countries have different laws regarding vapes. Some ban only the selling of nicotine, while others imply the complete prohibition of its use. However, few countries support its production, selling as well as use. This article will list the names and prohibition status of e-cigarettes in various countries. But before that, you need to know a brief history of e-cigarettes.

History of Vaping

E-cigarettes were first made in China by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik, a former deputy director of the Institute of Chinese Medicine, in 2003. The prime goal of vapes was to replace the traditional method of tobacco smoking with an advanced electronic way that lacks tobacco and offers customizable nicotine strength. Initially, it was used as an advanced smoking method, but later people dramatically used it to intake drugs like marijuana secretly. Besides inhaling drugs, nicotine dependency and the flavors inside cartridges also harm one’s health. That’s why many states took action against it.

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E-cigarette Ban Around the World

Due to the abovementioned concerns, global governments have taken action against e-cigarettes. Here is a list of those countries, along with the FDA (Food and Drugs Authority) regulations about e-cigarettes in them.

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The United States:

Various states of America adopt different rules and regulations regarding electronic cigarettes. One common law has been implemented since August 8, 2016. According to this law, the sale of products manufactured after August 8, 2016, will be prohibited in the market without marketing orders or FDA permissions. In 2022, many former products were also removed from the market because they lacked the legal marketing permissions of the FDA. Besides these countrywide regulations, many states have laws, just like California’s city of Francisco, which has banned the sale of all tobacco-containing products. Other states implement different laws in their territory.

Here is a brief list of different states of the US, along with their regulations regarding vape consumption and selling:

  • Georgia: Online selling and purchasing of vapes are prohibited in Georgia. It only supports physical or face-to-face transactions of e-cigarettes.
  • Massachusetts: Since 2019, Massachusetts has banned all types of vape flavors. Due to chemicals inside the e-juice, the state has prohibited all types of flavors in the market except for tobacco.
  • New Jersey: New Jersey has banned all vape flavors in the market. Yet, legislators allow menthol due to the estimated tax revenue the state could lose if it were banned. New Jersey’s governor has increased the tax on vape products as well, yet the level of nicotine is allowed up to 20mg.
  • New York: According to a law passed in April 2020, New York has restricted its state people to tobacco flavor only. Meanwhile, all online selling of vape products has been strictly banned since then.
  • California: The statewide law does not ban vape products altogether; however, many regions have strict restrictions regarding the purchasing and selling of vapes. Nevertheless, the state has banned all in-store selling of vape flavors except for tobacco (with or without nicotine strength). California approved this ban on November 8, 2022. Although many people object to this, the supreme court has not given any relaxation regarding e-cigarette laws.

Other major cities in the US with restrictions:

Different cities of multiple states have prohibitions on flavor selling and purchasing. Here is a list you can review in this regard:

  • San Jose
  • Oakland
  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago
  • San Diego
  • Sacramento
European Union:

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According to the new Tobacco Products Derivative Law that came into effect in May 2016, there are strict regulations regarding the selling and purchasing of e-cigarettes. The following steps were taken to limit the popularity of e-cigarettes among youth:

  • Vapes will not be banned in public places.
  • There would be limited advertisements of vapes via electronic and print media.
  • It strictly prohibits vaping by a person under eighteen years old. You are not allowed to purchase it for someone below the mentioned age limit.

In August 2016, the FDA regulated the selling and purchasing of e-cigarettes. The FDA debated certain issues, like the ingredients used in e-juice, the toxic chemicals in e-flavors, and the appropriate age to inhale vape. The FDA also supports the perspective of Tobacco Product Derivatives that vape should not be allowed for minors.

In February 2014, the European Parliament also regulated the standard of e-cigarettes, including the e-flavors, and set the appropriate age to use these devices.


The FDA also regulates the use of nicotine. According to the National Poisons Standard Schedule 7, owning an e-liquid or vape product containing nicotine in Australia is prohibited. However, under NPS Schedule 4, a person can register for vaping if a doctor prescribes it for therapeutic purposes. Vaping is helpful in smoking cessation or withdrawing from tobacco addiction and nicotine dependency, so in such cases, one can legally own a vape after registering it with the TGA.

Different states of Australia have different limitations regarding the use of vapes. Here, we discuss them briefly.

New South Wales

In NSW, purchasing or buying e-cigarettes is legal. However, in 2017, the parliament passed a vape regulatory law that contained the following provisions:

  • Owning or selling vapes or vape products to persons under 18 is illegal.
  • You are not allowed to use vapes in cars with children under 16.
  • No free samples or sponsorship for marketing purposes can be provided with e-cigarettes.
  • No print or electronic media advertisement can be done to promote vape brands.
  • Indoor and outdoor vaping in smoke-free zones is illegal.
Victoria (VIC)

The tobacco law passed on August 1, 2017, contains the following key points:

  • The sale and purchase of vapes are illegal.
  • E-cigarettes with nicotine strength are strictly prohibited for sale and purchase.
  • Nicotine purchase from overseas websites with a doctor’s prescription is legal after registering your vape with the TGA.
  • Promotional advertisement of vapes for marketing purposes is illegal.
  • The use of vapes under 18 years is illegal.
  • Vaping in a car while having a child under 16 is also illegal.
  • Vaping in smoke-free zones is illegal.
South Australia

The laws in South Australia regarding vape consumption are relatively liberal. In 2018, the government regulated the following key points:

  • The sale and supply of e-cigarettes are legal.
  • E-cigarette use by persons under eighteen years is restricted.
  • Use of vapes indoors and outdoors in smoke-free zones is illegal.
  • Equipping the nicotine-containing e-liquid is legal, although selling the nicotine-containing e-juice is illegal.
  • Advertisement via print or electronic media is not restricted like in other states. You can also give free samples for sponsorship.
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

ACT adopts the same laws and regulations for e-cigarettes as they apply to tobacco-containing products. According to 2017 laws, ACT set the following rules for vapes:

  • The sale of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes is banned in every city of ACT.
  • Importing nicotine through overseas websites for medical purposes is illegal. However, you must have a medical prescription to purchase.
  • Purchasing or selling vapes and e-liquids with no nicotine is completely legal.
  • Vaping under 18 is illegal. Also, inhaling vaping in cars with children below 16 years is also restricted.
  • No promotion, advertisement, or sponsorship is allowed to boost the production of a particular brand.
United Kingdom

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E-cigarettes and all tobacco-containing products, including cigarettes, hookahs, and cigars, are regulated by the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations Act of 2016 (TRPR). It is important to be aware of the following laws before buying or selling e-cigarettes in the United Kingdom:

  • As of 2016 and 2017 notifications, the nicotine amount is restricted to 20mg/ml before it can officially be sold to the market.
  • Giving free samples of vaping products to people of any age is illegal in the UK.
  • Selling vape and e-liquids with or without nicotine to those under 18 is strictly prohibited.
  • The TRPR introduced the following rules to eliminate tobacco and nicotine dependency, which are briefly outlined below:
  • The e-juice tanks will have no more than a 2ml capacity.
  • The amount of nicotine per e-juice tank is strictly limited to 20mg/ml.
  • Certain toxic ingredients like colorings, caffeine, and taurine are illegal to use.
  • Precautions and warning labels should be added to the device’s cover.
  • All e-cigarette products cannot be sold without notification and publication by MHRA.

List of countries that have banned e-cigarettes:

Despite the restrictions that some countries apply to vaping, several countries have completely banned e-cigarette consumption. Almost 30 countries have reported a complete ban on equipping vape devices in 2023, regardless of whether you are on public transport, at home, at school, market, or anywhere. Here is the list of those countries:

Papua New Guinea Brunei Darussalam Lao People’s Democratic Republic Russian Federation New Zealand  Costa Rica
Singapore Malta Jordan Panama Paraguay Ecuador
Niue Lebanon Greece Saint Lucia Argentina Guyana
Tajikistan Jamaica Albania Congo Turkey Honduras
Nepal Norway Uruguay Barbados Brazil
Why is vape consumption or selling prohibited in some countries?

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According to WHO, e-cigarettes contain e-juice, which is a combination of flavors, nicotine, glycol, and propylene. This e-juice, when heated, converts into aerosol vapors that a person inhales when taking a puff. Even though e-juice has no tobacco or nicotine, it is still harmful to a person.

Nicotine dependency in humans can cause irritation, restlessness, insomnia, depression, and headaches, and its withdrawal symptoms are even worse. Moreover, nicotine directly affects the proper functioning of the lungs and also damages the blood vessels, leading a person to develop cardiovascular diseases.

The flavors present in e-juice are also full of toxic chemicals that can affect the stomach, trachea, and lungs. These key reasons are enough to justify the restrictions mentioned above in order to protect the younger generation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why has China banned e-cigarettes?

In 2019, China passed a law that strictly banned the online sale and advertisement of e-cigarettes and other restrictions on tobacco and vape products. This was primarily to protect underage youngsters, especially those studying in middle and high schools, from easy access to and availability of vape products.

Why is nicotine illegal in Japan?

In Japan, nicotine is considered a medicinal product and cannot be sold or purchased without a medical prescription from a doctor.

Is it illegal to vape in Korea?

No, owning a vape and vape products are legal in Korea. However, e-juice in Korea is quite expensive, and only some people can afford it and take it along with them.


If you are a vape addict traveling from one country to another, it is important to know whether owning a vape in that country is legal or not. Otherwise, you might face legal action. In this article, we have provided details on several countries with restrictions on selling and purchasing e-cigarettes, as well as a list of countries that have completely banned vaping. We hope this article has provided you with the desired knowledge, and please share it with friends who plan to travel with vape products. If you need more information, visit our website daily, and share your opinions in the comments section.