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E-cigarettes are devices that use cartridges containing flavorings and nicotine in liquid form to simulate smoking. They are also called electronic nicotine delivery systems or e-cigarettes and were launched in the market in 2004 by Chinese entrepreneurs. Since then, knowledge and awareness about their usage has grown in leaps and bounds, and today they represent a multi-billion dollar industry.

Many countries around the world are still undecided about what to do with e-cigarettes. A good number of them are satisfied with formulating regulations to control their sale and usage, and they normally exaggerate the risks of using the e-liquid (commonly referred to as vaping). Other countries, however, have taken matters further and completely banned the use and sale of all e-cigarettes, even those which do not contain nicotine. So, which countries have banned electronic cigarettes?

e cigarettes banned

Here is a list of those countries and a brief summary of the reasoning behind the ban.


The sale and importation e-cigarettes was banned in Argentina in 2011.The justification for the ban was that there was insufficient evidence to prove that e-cigarettes are safe for human use.The Argentinean authorities also cited recommendations by the World Health Organization which stated that there is no evidence that e-cigarettes are harmless or that they can help smokers to stop smoking. Ironically, cigarettes are legal in Argentina.


Brazil banned the selling and manufacturing of e-cigarettes in 2009.The authorities based this ban on an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) study and the presence of carcinogens in e-cigarettes. Each e-cigarette product that is confiscated attracts a fine of 10 reals (about $2.60).


Brunei authorities, in 2010, banned all sales of e-cigarettes-terming them as imitation tobacco products. According to Brunei law, smoking e-cigarettes in no-smoking zones attracts a fine of $300 for first-time offenders and $500 for each repeat offense. If you are caught importing or selling e-cigarettes for the first time you will be fined $5,000.Subsequent offenses will each attract a fine approaching $10,000.The ban was imposed due to the fact that e-cigarettes contain carcinogens and nicotine.Paradoxically, cigarettes are legal in the country.


E-cigarettes were banned in Cambodia in 2014.This was based on a test which apparently proved they were more harmful than cigarettes. The cautious standpoint about e-cigarettes adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) also influenced the decision.


Jordan banned the selling and importation of all e-cigarettes in 2009.The authorities claimed that e-cigarettes contained more nicotine than normal cigarettes. They also based the ban on WHO’s stated viewpoint that there is no proof that e-cigarettes were an effective and safe substitute for cigarettes.


Omani authorities banned all sales of e-cigarettes in the year 2012, again stating that they are unsafe and ineffective. They also used a study done by The Center for Environmental Health which found that many e-cigarettes contained formaldehyde.


Qatar has also banned sales and imports of all e-cigarettes. They based their decision on a faulty assertion that WHO has found e-cigarettes more harmful than ordinary cigarettes


In 2010 Singapore prohibited all importation, distribution and sales of e-cigarettes. The specific law outlawed all products which resembled tobacco products and imposed a fine of about $5,000 for those who broke this law. From December 2015, tobacco products such as e-liquid were banned because they were potentially harmful to human health.


Taiwan, in 2009, classified e-cigarettes as a regulated drug-based on a WHO report. This meant that anyone importing, selling or manufacturing e-cigarettes needed official approval or they would pay hefty fines face a prison sentence.No person has gotten,or is likely to get, the required official approval. This law covers all items with a cigarette shape, meaning that even nicotine-free e-cigarettes are also prohibited.


The sale and imports of e-cigarettes was officially banned in Thailand in 2014.However, due to the importance attached to tourism, enforcement of this law is often not strict. In addition, possessing e-cigarettes is not illegal in the country.

United Arab Emirates

Importation and sale of e-cigarettes was banned in the U.A.E (which includes Dubai) from 2009.The justification was that using e-cigarettes undermined anti-smoking campaigns and that they were unhealthy and addictive.


The sale of e-cigarettes is completely illegal in Uruguay. The authorities say there is no evidence that they are effective. They also cite an FDA report that says e-cigarettes contain ethylene glycol and nicotine.


Venezuelan law bans the distribution and selling of e-cigarettes due to their unproven safety and effectiveness, and there are fines of around $8,400 for offenders.



In conclusion, it patently clear that in most of these countries, the reasoning behind banning e-cigarettes is based on total misinformation, let’s hope the FDA regulations are more sensible! Also, some countries have gone ahead to implement e-cigarette bans while also adopting a wait-and-see attitude regarding their use. The sad irony is that the sale and usage of the more dangerous ordinary cigarettes is legal in all these countries.

Nicholas King
Nicholas King
Nicholas King is the sole owner and editor of SmokeTastic. Nicholas, use to smoke 30 a day back in 2011 before converting to vaping. With a depth of knowledge in the vaping industry and the research he conducts, makes him one of the most recognized and experienced vapers in the industry.