E-Cigarettes And The Law 23rd July 2015 – Posted in: News – Tags: ,

E-cigarettes have fast become a revolutionary way to help cut down or quit smoking, or simply helping smokers to transition to a less harmful method of maintaining a nicotine habit. But like any device promoting drug use (in this case nicotine) there are certain rules and regulations surrounding them.

What Are E-Cigarettes In The Eyes Of The Law?

Simply put, e-cigarettes are a way for smokers to indulge in a nicotine habit without exhaling smoke into the air. They are a smoke free, tobacco free alternative to traditional cigarettes, often used to aid in the cutting down or quitting of smoking. Cartridges are available with reduced or no nicotine content, or even flavoured to appeal to the user. They are also a less harmful alternative to smoking, not containing the toxic chemicals of traditional tobacco cigarettes.

Why Are They Used?

In the eyes of the law, e-cigarettes are not a tobacco product (because any nicotine content, if used in the cartridge, could be sourced from vegetables or synthesised completely. They are also not a pharmaceutical, as there is no intention to treat or cure disease, nor were they specifically designed to help users quit a smoking habit. The fact that they have proven extremely effective in doing this is just a pleasant side effect.

What Are The Regulations?

Because e-cigarettes are a relatively new kid on the block, a lot of countries still enforce bans on the product. This means that import is still a challenging issue for personal or commerce use. In these cases, most countries operate on a two-tier system – nicotine and non-nicotine products. This means that:

–       The hardware of an e-cigarette does not contain nicotine, and therefore is permitted.

–       Any refills without nicotine are permitted.

–       Refills that do contain nicotine in any amount require a medical license to import. As there are no medical licenses currently issued to any e-cigarette product there I a de facto ban on these products.

E-cigarette regulations are strict, but differ from country to country. For example, they are banned in Argentina, Brazil and Indonesia (among others) permitted in Israel, the Czech Republic and across the EU, and granted partial permission under the two-tier system in Denmark, Belgium and Hong Kong. For details of the individual regulations of each country, visit e-cigarette politics.

In countries where smoking is banned from indoors and enclosed public places there is a bit more controversy. In 2014 the UK government held a debate as to whether e-cigarettes should be held to the same rules as tobacco cigarettes, but despite being backed by WHO, ministers decided to allow e-cigarettes continued use indoors. As the devices are smoke free by definition, they do not fall under the same regulations as smoke based products.

For more information or to buy your e-cigarette refills, click here.