Travelling overseas with vape?

If you are thinking about going on an overseas trip and want to take your vape with you it pays to do your research. We are lucky here in NZ that attitudes towards vaping are relaxed with promising prospects for future regulation. However, this is not the case for a lot of popular travel destinations.

 Many countries in Asia such and Thailand, Singapore, Brunei and Taiwan have outright banned e-cigarettes with the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia recently joining this growing list. Despite stories you may hear of audacious travellers managing to bring their e-cigarettes into these countries without trouble, it is not worth it. Thailand and the Philippines have some of the harshest punishments with potential imprisonment.

You might also want to consider where you stop over on long-haul flights. As much as I love Singapore Airlines, e-cigarettes can be confiscated when connecting flights in Singapore, regardless of the vaping laws in your final destination.

In some countries, the laws are more confusing with vaping laws being controlled at a state level. E-cigarettes are now illegal in at least 8 states in India as well as the Malaysian state of Johor where the ruler and chief religious authority, signed off on a fatwa to formalise the ban. Despite initial attempts to ban vaping in Malaysia and Indonesia, the vape industry is growing and Malaysia is now a major producer and exporter of e-liquids to around the world. 

While planning an upcoming trip overseas I recently read in an article in the Herald, which stated that my destination of choice, Indonesia, had banned e-cigarettes. This news was contradictory to stories I had heard suggesting that vaping was tolerated in popular tourist areas like Bali with vape shops popping up all over the country. After doing a little more digging it turns out that the Indonesian government has in fact recently moved to regulate the sale and importation of e-liquids by imposing 57% taxes on nicotine e-liquids, which is most likely an attempt to make up for the lost revenue of excise taxes from cigarettes. With Indonesia having one of the highest smoking rates in the world along with very relaxed tobacco laws it is no surprise to learn that tobacco lobbyists are well connected in Indonesia. This might also explain the strong push against the rapidly growing industry.

Even if you are travelling to a country where vaping is allowed make sure you know all the rules, every country will have its own laws regarding where and when it is acceptable to vape in public spaces. If you are travelling to Japan or Australia, although vaping is legal, however,  the sale of nicotine e-liquids is prohibited so make sure that you bring enough supplies with you to last the whole trip.

 

Disclaimer: I have done my best to give you an accurate summary of up-to-date information regarding vaping laws in the countries discussed however it's important to remember laws and regulations in these countries may change. It's very important to make sure you are responsible for researching and understanding the laws of any country to plan to travel to.

 

Countries that have banned e-cigs:

Argentina

Belgium

Brazil

Brunei

Cambodia

Egypt

India (Illegal in 8+ states)

Indonesia

Jordan

Lebanon

Malaysia (Illegal in the state of Johor)

Mexico

Oman

Panama

Singapore

Taiwan

Tajikistan

Thailand

Turkey

United Arab Emirates

Uruguay

Venezuela 

Vietnam


1 comment


  • David

    I’m a frequent traveller to the Philippines. The Executive Order #26 banned smoking in public places. It specifically refers to solid tobacco products. Vapes and e-cigarettes are not covered by the law.

    I vape to my hearts content in the Philippines – but I take care to do it in the allocated areas and never in public.

    My vapes and liquids have frequently been picked up in security checks at airports and never confiscated. I think there is an error in the view that vaping is banned in the Philippines.


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