Where is Vaping Banned & Why is it Important to Know?

If you vape and you’re off on holiday anytime soon, you might find yourself frantically searching the internet asking questions like “can i take my e-cigarettes on holiday” and “where is vaping banned?”

If that’s the case, you have good reason to wonder as across the world vaping regulations can differ wildly.

Vape devices have fast become the go-to choice for people looking for a product to help them quit smoking. As a result, the UK government continues to take a progressive approach to vape laws – so much so that the NHS is set to offer vapes on prescription soon. 

But while the British government is busy promoting the efficacy of e-cigs as an effective stop-smoking aid, in some countries you’ll be fined and perhaps even jailed just for using your vape device!

So if you’re travelling abroad and wondering if you should leave your vape gear at home, here are the countries which take the most hardline approach to e-cigarettes.

where is vaping banned

Leave Your E-Cig at Home if Traveling to These Countries!

For UK vapers, it can be hard to believe some countries have such draconian vaping laws in place. Still, if you’re going on holiday and you’re off to one of the following countries, then you better believe it as failure to follow the rules could get you into some pretty serious trouble!

These are the countries where vaping is banned:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Australia (unless you have a prescription)
  • Bhutan
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Cambodia 
  • Colombia
  • Ethiopia
  • Gambia 
  • India 
  • Iran
  • Japan (vaping non-nicotine e-liquid is legal)
  • N. Korea 
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Lebanon 
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Oman
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Qatar 
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore 
  • Sri Lanka 
  • Suriname
  • Syria
  • Thailand 
  • Timor-Leste
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uganda
  • Uruguay
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela

Although the rules on vaping will differ from country to country, bans are in place in all these countries so if any of these destinations are on your itinerary then just play it safe and leave your vape products at home. 

** This list of countries was correct at the time of writing, although rules changes can occur at any time. Always check the rules of your chosen destination before you travel.

where is vaping banned

Punishment for Vaping in Countries Where E-Cigarettes are Banned

If caught vaping in one of these countries, the punishment for using e-cigarettes will depend on where you are.

Your punishment can range from a small fine or a ticking off from a police officer to a much harsher punishment where you could face a severe financial penalty or even jail time!

No punishment is ideal and whenever we travel to a different country it’s important to respect the laws of the land, whether we agree with them or not. So if you’re planning to visit any of these countries, the best advice we can give is just don’t take any risks – it’s simply not worth getting into trouble and spoiling your trip, regardless of how much you like to vape!

where is vaping banned

Why do Some Countries Still Not See the Benefits of Vaping?

As with the rules themselves, the reasons for putting these drastic measures in place vary depending on which country you look at.

However the majority of the hesitancy – whether it’s from South East Asia, Latin America or Africa – is fuelled by the World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) anti-vaping crusade. 

A document leaked last year revealed American billionaire Mike Bloomberg is the man behind the WHO’s push to increase regulation on vape products across the world. Bankrolled by Bloomberg’s billions via the various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) his “philanthropy” has set up, the WHO seems to be leaning on governments with financial incentives to encourage them to tighten regulation.

Often the ones in the WHO’s crosshairs are LMIC (low-middle income countries) countries, so the promise of financial support makes convincing these governments all the more straight-forward. 

We’d call that a bribe.

The reasons for Bloomberg and the WHO’s anti-vaping stance aren’t crystal clear, but with millions of people across the world dying from smoking-related illness every year, what is clear is that these policies are doing more harm than good – strange when you consider the fact the WHO is supposed to be the foremost organisation on the planet with regards to public health!

Why Does the UK (and Much of the Rest of the World) See it Differently?

Thankfully, here in the UK we’re free to use vape products as we please. While there are regulations in place concerning the quality of vape devices, as well as rules on the ingredients that can be used in e-liquids, here vape products are sold freely to anyone over the age of 18. 

The reason for this is clear: vape products are relatively safe and they help people quit smoking.

When Public Health England carried out a landmark study in 2019 which concluded vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking, this should have been enough to eliminate any lingering doubts anyone had. 

Other research confirmed vape products are far and away the most effective stop-smoking aid around, with one study showing those who use e-cigarettes are twice as likely to give up smoking compared to those who use other nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products.

This is why the UK continues to lead the way in terms of proressvie policy on vaping, and so long as these products are helping people quit smoking and saving lives in the process, long may that continue!

Tips for Making Sure you Don’t End Up in Hot Water

As we’ve seen already, vaping where you’re not permitted can land you a serious spot of bother. Here are our top tips for staying out of trouble.

Always Check to See if Vaping is Permitted where You’re Going

If you’re travelling abroad, always check to see whether you’re allowed to take your vape device with you. Do this even if you’re confident it’s legal to vape as vaping regulation is an ever-changing landscape and new laws can come into play at any given time. 

Take Other NRTs

If you’re travelling to a country which prohibits the use of vape products, it won’t be long until those cravings kick in. 

Bizarrely, while you won’t be able to vape in these countries, chances are you’ll be fine to purchase cigarettes, and once those nicotine withdrawals become unbearable you might cave in to temptation.

That’s why we’d always recommend taking a different NRT such as nicotine patches, gum or lozenges with you. This should help take the edge off your cravings and with a little willpower hopefully you should be able to stay smoke-free while you’re away.

Do Your Research Before You Travel

Research is key, and the fact you’re asking questions like “where is vaping banned” is great! As well as familiarising yourself with laws in place at your chosen destination, you should also make sure you know the rules while you’re travelling too. This means getting a good understanding of the airport and airline’s policies on vaping. 

Some airlines will prevent passengers from boarding a flight if they’re found to be in possession of a vape device, while others may be a little more lenient. So to avoid any awkward and frustrating encounters, always brush up on the rules before you travel.

If you’re unsure of anything or you’d like some further information on taking your vape device away with you, take a look at our Travelling & Vaping Guide where you should find everything you need.