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Best and Worst Countries To Be A Vaper

Best and Worst Countries To Be A Vaper

 

 

As the vapor phenomenon continues to propagate worldwide, vapers from across the globe face varying degrees of challenges in accessing vapor products, depending on laws in their country. Vapor might be easily accessible on any street corner or vape shop in the United States, but many people abroad don’t have the same opportunities.


Oppressive and autocratic countries have tended to react to vapor by outlawing it and criminalizing the use of any vapor products, while more liberal and progressive countries have fully legalized vapor’s use, with some government agencies even instructing doctors and caregivers to suggest vaping as a method to quit smoking.


The United States falls somewhere in the middle - most vapor products are currently permitted (though many will become illegal to sell if and when new FDA rules take effect), though they’re subject to a host of regulations that can vary from state to state and even city to city. Some of America’s government agencies have begrudgingly admitted that vapor is less harmful than cigarettes, but have stopped short of saying that it could be used as a cessation tool.


Let's take a look at some of the best and worst countries to be a vaper, given the 2018 political climate. If you’re traveling abroad, it’s best to check local laws, because some countries have been known to confiscate vapor products at the border.   


Best Countries


1.New Zealand is the most progressive country for vapor products, with the government issuing a initiative for Smokefree 2025 which looks at a long term plan for smoking reduction by using vapor products as cessation tools. The initiative was started in 2011, but in 2017 statements by the government were added to promote the use of vapor.


“The Ministry of Health encourages smokers who want to use e-cigarettes to quit smoking to seek the support of local stop smoking services. Local stop smoking services provide smokers with the best chance of quitting successfully and should support smokers who want to quit with the help of e-cigarettes,” read an official statement from the Ministry of Health’s website.


2.England is another progressive country in the vaping world; the National Health Service there has declared that vaping is "95 percent safer" than smoking, and has pushed institutions to take up vapor as a way to decrease the negative effects of smoking. One plan that's even been floated was stocking hospitals with vapor for recovering smokers.


It should be noted that even while government agencies like the NHS have ascribed to a pro-vaping agenda, day-to-day use of vapor has come under scrutiny, with the police recently warning that vapers clouding up their cars could be pulled over and subject to heavy fines or even license revocation.


3.Canada is one of the least regulated countries for vapor products, although some cities have relatively few regulations. In Vancouver, there’s a public ban on vaping where smoking is prohibited, and in Toronto, there’s a ban covering all workplace areas. Vapor products are technically illegal to sell because no nicotine products are approved by Health Canada, but these laws have gone largely unenforced, so vapor products are readily available throughout the country.


Worst Countries


1.Thailand has the most stringent laws about vapor. The Thai government classified e-cigs as a regulated drug in 2009, with the penalty for selling vapor devices including potential prison time. In 2017, the country warned tourists that having vapor products, including nicotine-free pens, could land you in prison for up to 10 years, according to the Telegraph.

2.Singapore banned the sale, import, and use of e-cigs in 2010 because of their resemblance to tobacco products. As of February 1, 2018, Singapore announced that they were closing all previous loopholes and banning the use or sale of vapor products outright. If they’re caught by the authorities, vapers in Singapore can be fined as much as $5,000.


3.Australia is perhaps the most regressive English-speaking country in the vapor world. Despite neighboring New Zealand, their Federal Department of Health and Ageing has classified any nicotine ingested through means other than smoking as a form of poison, and this classification has slowed the process of regulation. Most Australian politicians have remained skeptical of there existing any benefits of vapor products, though a vocal minority has long been advocating for change.


Shifting Laws


In total, vapor products are banned in 21 countries, mainly across the Middle East, East Asia, and South America. There are over 70 countries that either ban or restrict the use, sale, or import of electronic vaping products.


Here are a list of the 21 countries with e-cig and vapor bans: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Columbia, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Panama, Singapore, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirate, Uruguay, Venezuela. For a full list, you can look at the ever-changing Wikipedia page set up to track the evolution of vapor regulation.


These laws are, of course, all subject to change at any time. Because vaping is still a new phenomenon that’s growing exponentially every year, more and more countries are being forced to question how much regulation to impose. Recently, Switzerland reversed a ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes with nicotine, highlighting how dramatically these laws are shifting and governments are changing in their stance towards vapor products every day, for better or worse.




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