Although it seems a straightforward “yes/no” question, the answer to that is very complicated. Electronic cigarettes have been controversial since their very beginnings. Differences regarding e-cigarette classification have been raised worldwide. For instance, some countries have banned electronic cigarettes all together.
To understand how big those differences are from country to country all we have to do is just have a look in the following list of countries that banned electric cigarettes.
In Canada all sales, imports and even all advertising related to e-cigarettes are prohibited.
In Singapore electronic cigarettes are illegal, even for personal consumption.
In Brazil all imports, sales, and advertising related to e-cigs are prohibited by ANVISA (National Health Surveillance Agency).
Australia prohibits e-cigarettes sales.
Thailand bans all imports and sales related to electronic cigarettes.
In Panama all imports, sales, and advertising related to e-cigs are prohibited after taking into consideration the FDA’s advice
Many countries around the world have placed a smoking ban on indoor locations where as some others require a government approval before licensing electronic cigarettes. The main reason behind that is the fact that illegal Chinese imitations flooding the market, some countries have placed restrictions on sales until measures are put in place to regulate them.
In the contrary let’s have a look in the following list of countries that selling e-cigarettes are under other legislations, or even none
In Austria e-cigarettes classifies e-cigs containing nicotine as medical products.
In New Zealand e-cigarettes classifies e-cigs containing nicotine as medical products by the the Ministry of Health and sold with prescription only.
In the Netherlands electronic cigarettes are sold under no restriction but advertising is prohibited.
In Denmark, e-cigs are considered as medical devices by thr Danish Medicine Agency.
In United Kingdom e-cigarettes are under no restriction.
In the USA, electronic cigarettes currently seem to be under no restriction.
This new technology is causing a big confusion whether they are related to products under the tobacco category and as a result under tobacco industry policies or electronic cigarettes falls under pharmaceuticals laws. E cigs currently seems to be in the middle of Tobacco and medical drug territory.
Moreover the exponential growth in the electric cigarettes popularity made most governments to be extremely careful. In addition E-cigarette does not contain any tobacco or produce any smoke and as a result it does not fall under the smoking ban or other tobacco related laws. Because of this, they have been a cause of concern to some governments and tobacco companies because they are not subject to tobacco tax.
Only forecasts can be made according to the future of electronic cigarettes. The most likely scenarios are two. The first one is that electronic cigarettes will be banned by countries and people will need to buy electronic cigarettes online. The second scenario is that e cigs will be completely legalized but brought under some sort of medical restrictions.
It doesn’t matter which country we are talking about everyone is facing the same issues regarding e-cigarettes and although some are supporting them and some others are against I think governments need to work toward a solution by creating new legislation about e cigs and e-smoking. And if they just cannot categorize these smoking devices in existing categories they could always create a whole new dedicated category for e-cigarettes.