E-cigarettes are quickly becoming mainstream throughout the Western world (so quickly, in fact, that they’re more popular with some age groups than regular cigarettes), but they’re still a novel item (and, in some cases, illegal contraband) in many parts of the world.
If you’re an e-cigarette user that likes to travel, it’s important to stay on top of both the laws and culture of vaping while you’re on the road. Below, we’ve listed three tips to help you vape safely, legally and responsibly, no matter where in the world you might be.
Check that e-cigarettes are legal in the country you’re visiting
Travelling with vaping gear should be easy, right? While it might seem easy to just pack your electronic cigarette into your suitcase and make your way to the airport, doing so can get you into serious trouble if you travel to the wrong destination.
While most Western countries have few or no regulations governing ownership of e-cigarettes for people of legal age, some countries have completely banned e-cigarettes and regard them as illegal products.
As of 2018, e-cigarettes are completely banned in Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, East Timor, Hong Kong, certain regions of India, Japan, Panama, Singapore, Thailand and the UAE. In some of these countries, importing e-cigarettes (including in luggage) can result in a prison sentence.
You can view a current list of countries that ban e-cigarettes on Wikipedia. If you’re travelling to a new country, always check the local laws regarding e-cigarettes to make sure you don’t face a nasty surprise when passing through customs.
Beyond the law, follow local rules and customs regarding vaping
Luckily, e-cigarettes are legal in most parts of the world. However, even in countries where it’s legal to vape, it’s important to be a respectful visitor and follow the local customs on e-cigarette use in public.
Not all countries have caught onto the e-cigarette wave, meaning you might not see many “no vaping” signs in public if you’re outside the Western world. However, this doesn’t mean you’re free to vape as you like without any regard for other people.
Before you start vaping, check to see if the environment is right. If you’re on a bus, train or other public transport, ask the staff if it’s okay to vape before you start. In a restaurant or café, always ask first — in some parts of the world, vaping is treated similarly to smoking in public areas.
Finally, check nicotine laws before you travel internationally
In some countries, e-cigarettes are allowed but the open sale of e-liquid that contains nicotine isn’t. This means you can legally bring in your e-cigarette but won’t be able to find any e-liquid containing nicotine once you reach your destination.
If you use an e-cigarette to take in nicotine, or as a way to quit smoking, this can be a serious problem — one that can, for some people, result in a serious temptation to switch to traditional cigarettes or other nicotine delivery systems.
You can view these regulations on the same Wikipedia page we linked above. If you’re visiting any of the countries where these regulations apply (such as Australia, Norway and a few other popular tourism destinations), you may want to pack an extra supply of e-liquid for your visit.