Vaping laws round the world can be very different. In some countries vaping is unregulated so there are no regulations at all and others are very similar to the UK. But there are countries with strict vaping laws, treating vaping the same as smoking or even banning it entirely.
It’s important to check the laws for any destination before travelling outside the UK. And remember that vaping regulations are relatively new so laws are likely to be changed and updated regularly. This is particularly true of countries like the United States where restrictions on public vaping vary from state to state.
Here is a list of some of countries with the differences and similarities in vaping laws explained. This selection focuses on the largest countries, arranged by continent, as well as some of the most popular tourist destinations.
Like the United Kingdom, most countries in Europe follow the Tobacco Products Directive which outlines the rules for manufacture and sale of vaping products. But this doesn’t mean that all laws and regulations will be the same in every country and particular care should be paid to which locations are acceptable for vaping.
France: In France vaping is legal but prohibited in public buildings, on public transport, in enclosed workspaces and areas with minors.
Germany: In Germany the laws are similar to in the UK with the sale of e-liquids containing nicotine restricted like cigarettes to over eighteen years olds.
Greece: In Greece vaping is subject to the same regulations and restrictions as smoking. This means that vaping is prohibited in public spaces and on transportation.
Ireland: In the Republic of Ireland the laws are similar to the UK and vaping is not covered by the Irish smoking ban.
Italy: In Italy the laws are similar to in the UK. Vaping is prohibited in schools and on school premises and there is an additional tax on e-liquids similar to the extra tax on cigarettes.
Portugal: In Portugal vaping is prohibited in certain public spaces and on public transport. There is also an additional tax on e-liquids.
Russia: In Russia vaping is not regulated by the Ministry of Health as e-liquids are not considered a tobacco product. Like the UK, vaping is regarded as safe and smokers are encouraged to use vaping to help quit smoking.
Spain: In Spain current laws are similar to those in the UK, but are likely to become stricter in the future. Vaping is prohibited in public spaces like government and healthcare buildings, schools and on public transport.
Switzerland: In Switzerland the sale of non-nicotine e-liquids is regulated by the same laws as food products. Nicotine juices were illegal until recently when the ban was lifted, bringing Swiss vaping laws closer to the rest of Europe.
Turkey: In Turkey e-liquid regulation is inconsistent. Juices with or without nicotine are classified as tobacco products just like traditional cigarettes. This means sales are restricted to people over nineteen years old and vaping is not permitted indoors or on public transport.
North and South America
USA: In the United States e-liquids and vaping equipment are regulated by the FDA and classified as tobacco products. Specific laws vary in each state so it’s worth checking state regulations when visiting. In general sales of e-liquids is illegal to under eighteens and photo ID can be required.
Canada: In Canada e-liquids that contain no nicotine are not regulated but those with nicotine are restricted like traditional cigarettes and vaping is prohibited in the same locations where smoking is prohibited.
Mexico: In Mexico the sale and manufacture of e-liquids that contain nicotine is illegal as they are classified as objects that imitate tobacco products. Importing vaping equipment is illegal and devices can be confiscated, but vaping in general will vary depending on local laws, so check the regional regulations before visiting.
Argentina: In Argentina the sale, distribution and import of vaping equipment is prohibited and vaping is illegal throughout the country.
Brazil: There is a total ban on vaping in Brazil. It is illegal to sell or use e-liquids anywhere in the country.
Chile: In Chile vaping is legal and subject to the same restrictions as traditional tobacco cigarettes.
Columbia: Until recently there was a total ban on vaping in Columbia but this has been lifted. Now vaping is subject to the same restrictions as tobacco products and prohibited in public spaces and on public transport.
Venezuela: There is a total ban on vaping equipment in Venezuela. It is illegal to sell or use e-liquids throughout the country.
Oceania, Asia and Africa
Australia: Australia has some of the strictest laws due to their complete ban on nicotine. E-liquids that do not contain nicotine are legal but sale and use of vaping equipment varies from state to state.
New Zealand: Vaping laws in New Zealand are similar to those in the UK.
Vaping laws across Asia vary a great deal between countries. Some countries have completely banned vaping while others have no regulations at all. So, it is well worth checking the local laws before traveling.
China: Vaping is permitted throughout China but there are regional restrictions that may limit where vaping is allowed.
Japan: In Japan e-liquids that do not contain nicotine are permitted, but nicotine juices are against the law.
Thailand: In Thailand vaping is against the law and strict penalties can apply for the use of e-liquids.
South Africa: In South Africa vaping is legal but e-liquids that contain nicotine are prohibited and classified as restricted medicines.
Morocco: There are currently no specific laws in Morocco relating to vaping or vaping equipment. There are vape shops in the popular tourist centres but this may change if the law is ever defined.
Madagascar: Vaping is legal in Madagascar but subject to the same restrictions as tobacco products, so vaping is only permitted in areas where smoking is also permitted.