47 countries have banned e-cigarettes

As tobacco industry interests ramp up pressure on the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Conference of the Parties to embrace e-cigarettes and the industry’s harm reduction marketing frame, it is important to keep in mind that many countries have rejected e-cigarettes and other ENDS completely.

Here is a list that Clear the Air Hong Kong put together updated from on a list first published by the vaping site Vaped by Totally Wicked:

01 Antigua and Barbuda
02 Argentina
03 Australia. The sale or importation of nicotine containing e-liquid is illegal. Prescription needed
04 Bahrain
05 Barbados
06 Bhutan
07 Brazil
08 Brunei Darussalam
09 Cambodia – Completely banned.
10 Colombia
11 Costa Rica
12 Ethiopia
13 Gambia – Completely banned.
14 India – Completely banned.
15 Iran
16 Japan – Banned by proxy. No nicotine containing e-liquid allowed.
17 N. Korea – Completely banned.
18 Kuwait
19 Lao PDR
20 Lebanon – Completely banned.
21 Mauritius
22 Mexico
23 Nepal
24 Nicaragua – Completely banned.
25 Oman
26 Palestine
27 Panama
28 Qatar – Completely banned.
29 Seychelles
30 Singapore – Completely banned. Possession is also a crime and can carry a fine of up to $1500.
31 Sri Lanka
32 Suriname
33 Syria
34 Thailand – Some of the harshest punishments for vaping in the world.
35 Timor-Leste
36 Turkey
37 Turkmenistan
38 Uganda
39 Uruguay
40 Vatican City – Completely banned.
41 Venezuela
42 Macao https://tinyurl.com/y9fbthjz
43 Bangladesh https://tinyurl.com/2b54pbke
44 Egypt https://tinyurl.com/z8ypb7rx Sales import + distribution banned since 2015
45 Jordan https://tinyurl.com/sr98365e
46 Saudi Arabia https://tinyurl.com/6reyxz8c Import banned by law but lax enforcement
47 Hong Kong https://tinyurl.com/rzwu6tu6 Includes E-cigarettes, HNB + herbal cigarettes

WHO put together an earlier list:

There are some differences between the attached list above and WHO’s information on the bans on ENDS, which could be as a result of how the law is interpreted or time of adoption of laws under consideration.  The information WHO has is on the basis of data collected from country tobacco control legislation adopted as of 31 December 2020.  

As of then the sale of ENDS is banned in the following 32 countries and territories: –

  1. Argentina
  2. Bahrain
  3. Brazil
  4. Brunei Darussalam
  5. Cambodia
  6. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,
  7. Egypt
  8. Ethiopia
  9. Gambia
  10. India
  11. Iran (Islamic Republic of)
  12. Iraq
  13. Jordan
  14. Kuwait
  15. Lebanon
  16. Malaysia
  17. Mauritius
  18. Mexico
  19. occupied Palestinian territory
  20. Oman
  21. Panama
  22. Qatar
  23. Singapore
  24. Sri Lanka
  25. Suriname
  26. Syrian Arab Republic
  27. Thailand
  28. Timor-Leste
  29. Turkmenistan
  30. Uganda
  31. Uruguay
  32. Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)

Further information on other types of bans applied to ENDS in the respective regions of WHO is contained in the 2021 report on the global tobacco epidemic, with the page numbers provided below: 

  • Africa                                         Table 2.1.1, Page 154
  • America                                      Table 2.1.2, Page 156
  • South East Asia                          Table 2.1.3, Page 158
  • Europe                                        Table 2.1.4, Page 160
  • Eastern Mediterranean                Table 2.1.5, Page 162
  • Western Pacific                            Table 2.1.6, Page 164

Details:

ArgentinaSales, import, distribution, commercialization, advertising, promotion
BahrainSales, import, distribution
BrazilSales, import
Brunei DarussalamSales, import
CambodiaSales, import
Democratic People’s Republic of KoreaSales, import, export
EgyptSales, import, trade
EthiopiaSales, manufacture, wholesale, distribution, offer for sale, import to trade
GambiaSales, import, manufacture, distribution, possession, offer for sale
IndiaSales, production, manufacture, import, export, transport, distribution, storage.
Iran (Islamic Republic of)Sales, import, production, supply, export
IraqSales, import, trade, manufacture
JordanSales, import, distribution, manufacture
KuwaitSales, trade, import
LebanonSales, import
MalaysiaSales only
MauritiusSales, offer for sale, distribution
MexicoSales, import, distribution, display, promotion, production
NepalManufacture, import, distribute, promote (bans restricted to some places only)
occupied Palestinian territorySales, import, manufacture
OmanSales, import
PanamaSales, import
QatarSales, import, trade, display, distribution, manufacture
SingaporeSales, import, distribute, offer for sale, possession
Sri LankaSales, manufacture, import, offer for sale
SurinameSales, import, distribution
Syrian Arab RepublicSales, manufacture, distribution, trade
ThailandSales, import
Timor-LesteSales, import
TurkeyImport (except for personal consumption)
TurkmenistanSales only
UgandaSales, import, manufacture, distribution, process, offer for sale, bring into the country
UruguaySales, commercialization, importation, registration as a trademark or patent
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)Sales, promotion, commercialization

Please note that 13 countries have both a sales ban and additional ENDS regulation in place, and these are classified as sales-ban countries in the report on page 100. Please see Annex II Table 2.1 for further details on these countries

Excluding countries that ban sale of ENDS, 30 countries completely ban the use of ENDS in all public places, workplaces and public transport:

  1. Congo
  2. Argentina
  3. Barbados
  4. Brazil
  5. Costa Rica
  6. Ecuador
  7. El Salvador
  8. Guyana
  9. Honduras
  10. Jamaica
  11. Panama
  12. Paraguay
  13. Saint Lucia
  14. Uruguay
  15. Jordan
  16. Lebanon
  17. Albania
  18. Greece
  19. Malta
  20. Norway
  21. Russian Federation
  22. Tajikistan
  23. Turkey
  24. Nepal
  25. Brunei Darussalam
  26. Lao Peoples Democratic Republic
  27. New Zealand
  28. Niue
  29. Papua New Guinea
  30. Singapore

An additional 45 countries partially ban their use in these places:

  1. Algeria
  2. Togo
  3. Canada
  4. Kuwait
  5. Saudi_Arabia
  6. Syrian_Arab_Republic
  7. Andorra
  8. Armenia
  9. Austria
  10. Azerbaijan
  11. Belarus
  12. Belgium
  13. Croatia
  14. Cyprus
  15. Czech_Republic
  16. Denmark
  17. Estonia
  18. Finland
  19. France
  20. Georgia
  21. Hungary
  22. Iceland
  23. Israel
  24. Italy
  25. Kazakhstan
  26. Latvia
  27. Lithuania
  28. Luxembourg
  29. Montenegro
  30. Netherlands
  31. Poland
  32. Portugal
  33. Republic_of_Moldova
  34. Romania
  35. San_Marino
  36. Slovenia
  37. Spain
  38. Ukraine
  39. Uzbekistan
  40. Australia
  41. Fiji
  42. Palau
  43. Philippines
  44. Republic_of_Korea
  45. Tuvalu

The following countries ban the possession of ENDS

  • Gambia
  • Singapore

Published by Stanton Glantz

Stanton Glantz is a retired Professor of Medicine who served on the University of California San Francisco faculty for 45 years. He conducts research on tobacco and cannabis control and cardiovascular disease/

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