Pardon the pun, but the rules of vaping are a little clouded everywhere. In the UK, using e-cigs has been banned on many methods of public transport. Companies such as Virgin Trains believe that staff members will struggle to distinguish between a tobacco cigarette and an electronic version. This also goes for venues in the hospitality industry and public spaces with pub chain J D Wetherspoon banning their use, but the O2 arena in London allowing people to vape in the aisles.
These rules get more complicated whilst abroad, with some countries banning their sale but not their use, others banning their use in public spaces but not their sale and others banning their sale and use.
To make life a little easier here’s a review of some of the rules and regulations in some of the most popular countries to visit.
France – e-cigs are classed as tobacco products and face the same restrictions of not being allowed to use them in public spaces.
Germany – legal to buy and use in public spaces.
Austria – classed as medical devices and must be purchased from a pharmacy.
Denmark – regulated as medicinal devices, available from pharmacies.
Finland – the sale of nicotine cartridges are prohibited, although one’s containing less than 10mg of may be bought from other EU countries for private use.
Ireland – legal to buy and use in public spaces.
Italy – may not be sold to vapers under the age of 16.
Poland – legal to buy and use in public spaces.
Portugal – legal to buy and use in public spaces.
Netherlands – advertising the products is banned but they are legal to purchase and use in public spaces.
Czech Republic – legal to buy and use in public spaces.
Bulgaria – legal to buy and use in public spaces.
Canada – legal to purchase and use in public places, restricted advertising around health claims.
Brazil – for any football fans travelling to the World Cup, Brazil has some of the strictest rules on e-cigarettes. The sale, advertisement and importation of the devices are forbidden. The Brazilian Health regulator believes that they have not been properly assessed using health and safety processes. They still sell tobacco cigarettes in the country…
The above rules have the potential to change frequently so here are a few useful tips for before you travel and whilst you’re away:
Packing your luggage
Make sure you have your liquids and e-cigarette device and accessories in your hand luggage. That way they can be checked and X-rayed along with the rest of your similar items.
Check with your airline before you fly whether vaping is permitted on the flight. If it is allowed, still double check if it’s OK with the crew and even the person sitting next to you.
Learn the lingo and check
Learn how to ask if you can use an electronic cigarette in a public space in the language the country uses. It’s always worth being polite and will save you the embarrassment of trying to explain the differences between an e-cig and tobacco cigarette in a language you’re not very familiar with whilst using over exuberant hand gestures…