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Chances are you’ll be planning — or will already have planned — your summer vacation by now. For us vapers who are traveling outside of the United States, it’s certainly worth considering the e-cigarette and e-liquid laws that apply in the country you’re destined for as you put those plans together.
While common sense would suggest that using an e-cigarette should never be illegal, laws and regulations on the buying or using of e-cigarettes and e-juices can vary drastically from country to country. We recommend researching ahead to ensure that you don’t break any laws and there are no nasty surprises when you set foot on foreign soil.
With this in mind, let us help remove some of the stress involved in the planning of your summer vacation. Our short guide will provide you with a summary of some of the more popular destinations around the world and how they regulate vaping.
Knowing What to Pack
It’s always difficult to know exactly what to pack when you go abroad. You want to be ready for every eventuality, but you also have a limited space. As someone who brings their vape pen everywhere they go, it’s obviously an essential item and one that gets packed first every time. While a vape pen is very easy to bring on vacation, unfortunately, e-liquids aren’t quite as convenient to travel with.
How much e-juice do you bring? Which flavours? Will they have your favourite flavor when on vacation? Will it be safe in your luggage on the plane? Wouldn’t it just be easier to not pack any and enjoy buying new e-liquids when you’re there? Similar to sampling the local cuisine, you can sample the local e-juices!
However, it’s not that straightforward. Some countries make buying e-liquid and e-cigarettes difficult. Follow our tips and you’ll know exactly how to pack for your once in a lifetime vacation.
E-Cigarette Laws in Europe
If you’re heading to Europe this summer, it’s very important to remember that each country has its own e-cigarette laws and regulations. While some countries share very similar opinions towards e-cigarettes, you might only need to drive a few miles into another country and you’d experience something completely different.
While most countries adhere to the rules of the Tobacco Products Directive that came into effect recently, there are others that either have additional rulings or none at all, so air on the side of caution.
For example, if you were on vacation in Italy, the rules of the TPD apply, so you’d only be able to buy 10ml bottles of e-juice and they have to include 20mg of nicotine or under.
Cross the border to Austria and it is now only possible to buy e-cigarettes and e-liquids from a vape stop. They are not allowed to be sold online, nor can they advertise. Furthermore, you cannot even try the products within these stores, as it is illegal to vape within a vape shop. So if you’re going to Austria, it might be wise to pack plenty of your own e-juice flavours.
If you were then to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina, you’d find that there is no regulation on any of the e-cigarette products available. While this might sound like a really refreshing approach to regulation, it also means that e-liquid market could be filled with unregulated e-juice, so you’re never quite sure what it is you’re vaping.
E-Cigarette Laws Around the World
Because of the huge number of countries around the world, we’re going to produce a shortened, more convenient list for you to read. Covering some of the most popular tourist destinations across the globe, you won’t want to let this information leave your side.
Let’s start with the Americas. In North America, Canada has no regulation on the use or sales of e-cigarette products, other than you need to be at least 19 years old to buy them.
We then head to Central America, to the popular tourist destination of Mexico. While it is legal to use an e-cigarette in Mexico, they have very strict laws on importing them for sale. This is why some travelers have experienced difficulty at customs. We’d suggest only packing the bare minimum (for personal use) when it comes to your vape pen and juice. Don’t worry, though; there are vape shops in most of the big cities.
Throughout South America, e-cigarette laws aren’t quite so clear (unless you go to Peru, where there are established vape stores). While there are no reported cases of customs confiscating e-cigarettes, when it comes to using your vape pen, we’d recommend airing on the side of caution. Laws are unclear and, because of this, you don’t know where or when you will be allowed to vape. Take precautions and try to stealth vape as much as possible. We wouldn’t suggest blowing huge clouds in the middle of a busy street…
Jumping across the Pacific Ocean, we arrive in Australia and New Zealand. The sale of e-cigarettes and e-liquids is unlawful throughout Australia, unless you get a prescription from a registered medical professional. Even then, you can only get e-liquids and not the vape pen. You are, however, allowed to bring these products into the country for personal use. While e-cigarettes currently remain illegal to sell in New Zealand, this law has been very loosely policed. The government of New Zealand has stated it’s intention to make e-cigarette sales legal by 2018 so we feel that vaping will become more and more accepted both legally and socially.
Traveling through South East Asia? E-cigs are completely banned in Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia. Personal use is permitted in Indonesia and you can buy and use e-cigarettes in Malaysia, but check the rules on vaping in public beforehand, as some areas even enforce prison sentences if you are seen doing so.
In Japan, vaping with a nicotine product has been illegal since 2010. It is also illegal in Hong Kong. But if you are visiting China, you’ll have no problem bringing your e-cigarette or even buying new e-liquid. Vaping in China is increasingly popular and commonplace.
So, stay aware of which countries you are visiting on your vacation this summer — and if you need to stock up on any e-cigarette products before you go, the Electric Tobacconist vape shop is always here to help!
Author Bio: Pascal Culverhouse is the founder and director of Electric Tobacconist LTD. Pascal’s been an advocate of vaping as a healthier alternative to cigarettes since 2010 and, as his business has grown, he’s learned the importance of understanding how different countries and states treat the use of e-cigarettes.