Travelling is fun but packing is always a hassle, people always tend to forget things or carry with them items that may be a cause of a misunderstanding when reaching your destination. If you are a vaper planning on taking your vaping gear to another country, be warned. There are several top tourism destinations where vaping is illegal, primarily in Asia. Why do they ban this safe practice? We’re going to go into that.
Why Are e-Cigarettes Banned?
Vaping, for those unfamiliar with it, is a form of smoking that replaces burning tobacco with a special liquid that’s heated. The vaper gets the nicotine and any additional flavorings and breathes out pure water vapor. While vapers and the vaping industry believe it is safe, many countries are condemning the practice until more research is done on its safety. Some think that the bans in many countries are actually a push by the tobacco companies until they can come up with their own vaping products they can declare safe.
Whatever the reasons for the bans are, if you take your vaporizer into the following countries you could get hassled, get your equipment taken away, or even get arrested. Here’s what you need to know.
The laws on tobacco use are very strict in Costa Rica. When traveling, keep your gear disassembled and separate, especially the juice. That’s what the authorities are most concerned about.
Use your vape machine outside of hotel areas, but not in the open town. Vaporizers aren’t common in Costa Rica, so you may attract a lot of attention if you use your kit openly. Be prepared to explain to security officials that you have an electronic cigarette. You likely won’t be able to find a legal supplier of e-juice or other components in the country.
Vaping is actually on the rise in China, but there is a growing health fight between China and the World Health Organization, one of the main groups calling for bans on vaping until more science is established. Smoking is very common in China and the consequences are well known, so many smokers are turning to it for health reasons. Yet the laws are far from clear, especially if you go to Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Macau. And if you plan on traveling outside of China further south, forget it.
Leave all your vaping gear at home if you travel to Thailand. There is a total ban on all electronic cigarette equipment even for personal use. At a minimum, you’ll have your gear taken away. But you could get slapped with a 10 year prison sentence and/or a huge fine. Don’t risk vaping while you take a trip to Bangkok or Phuket!
Indonesia also has a total ban on all e-cigarettes, and it’s a completely hypocritical stance. Indonesia has some of the laxest smoking laws on the planet. They have a very strong smoking culture, but they’ve totally squashed vaping.
In fact, Southeast Asia, in general, is bad for vapers. Along with Thailand and Indonesia, you should also avoid Brunei, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Singapore. There are total bans in effect for all of these countries.
The UAE and Dubai may be a place known for high luxury, but don’t bring your vaping equipment. They will seize it at the airport. Vaping is illegal here as well, but there are local stores that are flouting the laws due to the high demand and the high number of world travelers that go through the country. Nevertheless, it is against the law and you probably don’t want to purchase new gear that you’d have to give up at the end of your trip.
If you plan on traveling with your electronic cigarettes, look for current information on all laws before you go. Vape equipment is expensive to replace if confiscated, and you definitely don’t want to get hit with a huge fine or a jail sentence. If it is legal, but you’re asked to step outside while you vape or stay in a special zone, go ahead and do it. A foreign country is not the place to try to convince officials that it’s just water vapor.
We believe that once the science has established that vaping is far safer than smoking, the bans these countries have will be lifted. Look for information from the World Health Organization about the safety of vaping. Many countries follow their tune. Until then, avoid countries with bans and enjoy travel elsewhere!