The Legal Status of Electronic Cigarettes

The use of  electronic cigarettes is a very controversial topic. Because it is a relatively new product using a new kind of technology, the question is : Is it a medical drug or Is it a tobacco product? This is controversial because the new technology does not fall under the tobacco rules or drug policies.What is certain is that it is banned or sold in many countries throughout the world. 

Many countries have adopted their own policies when it comes to regulating the sales and use of electronic cigarettes. A brief summary follows below:

Canada: Imports, advertising and sales relating to electronic cigarettes are prohibited.

Australia: Sales of electronic cigarettes are illegal.

Singapore: E-cigarettes are illegal even for personal consumption.

United KIngdom: There are no restrictions on the sales and use of e-cigs.

Thailand: Imports and sales of e-cigarettes is banned.

Netherlands: Electronic cigarettes are legal, but cannot be advertised.

New Zealand: E-cigs fall under the Medicines Act and are sold with prescription only.

USA: Sales are everywhere, however, various States are introducing legislation to ban them.

Denmark: They are considered as medical products by the Danish Medicine Agency.

Austria: Electronic cigarettes are considered as medical devices.

Brazil: The national health agency prohibits all imports, sales and advertising of e-cigarettes.

There is no consistency as to how various countries manage the sales, use and importation of e-cigs. It is very ironic that electronic cigarettes do not contain any of the harmful toxins and carcinogens associated with normal cigarettes, and are banned in many countries. Whereas, normal tobacco cigarettes which cause  millions of deaths worldwide are legal!

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