It might seem hard to believe sometimes but vapers in the UK have an easy ride. Right now you can purchase whatever equipment and e-liquids that take your fancy. You can then use them to vape pretty much anywhere where smoking is permitted and even in many places where it isn’t. There will be more restrictions when the new EU directive comes into force this June. But we will discuss that elsewhere.
What you really want to know right now is whether or not you can vape on your holiday. Are you heading for vaping paradise or vaping hell?
Well that is going to depend on exactly where you are going. As there are over 200 hundred nations on this planet of ours, there are far too many to discuss here. If we attempted such a feat you would all be asleep before you got halfway through the alphabetical list. Either that or you would be so enraged at the laws in some countries that your head will have exploded. This wouldn’t be helpful for those heading for Venezuela or Zambia. So to kick things off we are going to look at European destinations.
Vaping in Europe
Many of you are probably reading this article because you have struggled to find the information that you need elsewhere. We sympathize because European vaping laws are mired in complications and confusions. The rules and regulations vary from one country to another and we all know that the law is one thing and what actually happens is quite another. To make matters worse, laws are constantly being challenged and changed. You would think that at the very least all of the EU countries would have adopted the same policies. But they haven’t.
So the bad news is that every country is a law unto itself, vaping regulations vary dramatically and, in the case of many nations, they remain unclear. But we do have some good news. In the majority of European countries vaping is legal and you can vape anywhere where smoking is permitted. In some countries you can even vape indoors and in public places. You can take your e-cigarettes, mods and juice with you and you can buy replacements if you need them. So far so good!
There are some countries where restrictions are imposed on the sale of vaping gear and e-liquids. These restrictions often only relate to products containing nicotine. Where cartridges and e-liquids containing nicotine may not be sold it is usually legal to import them for personal use and for tourists to take their own supplies into the countries concerned. You just need to make sure that you travel with everything that you are likely to need.
We won’t bother mentioning every country individually, just the ones where there are potential issues with vaping. Here are the countries where there are restrictions that you should be aware of before you travel.
- Belgium. You can’t buy cartridges or e-liquids containing nicotine in Belgium but you can take them with you for personal use.
- Denmark. Here products containing nicotine must be medically approved and are therefore not for sale. You can vape but you will not be able to purchase cartridges or juice containing nicotine.
- Finland has more draconian rules than Denmark. Officially you can only take in cartridges with a nicotine strength of less than 10mg/ml or e-liquids with less than 0.42g of nicotine in the bottle.
- France. You need medical approval to use cartridges containing more than 10mg of nicotine in total or cartridges and e-liquids with more than 20mg/ml of nicotine by volume. In practice this regulation is impossible to enforce as nobody is going to stop you in the streets to test your juice.
- Hungary. As per Belgium.
- Iceland. Here products containing a higher nicotine concentrations than 0.9mg/ml are banned.
- Lithuania. Vaping is banned in Lithuania but some tourists have reported that they have continued vaping and encountered no issues.
- Norway. As per Denmark.
- Russia. You can vape in Russia and purchase most vaping related products but single use e-cigarettes are banned.
- Sweden. As per Denmark.
- Switzerland. Products containing nicotine cannot be sold but you are permitted to travel to Switzerland with an e-cigarette and up to 40 cartridges. The law is likely to be relaxed in 2018.
The Grey Areas
The laws regarding vaping are at best unclear in Croatia and Turkey. Anecdotal evidence suggests that you can pretty much do what you want in Croatia but you might encounter difficulties getting your vaping kit through customs in Turkey.
We apologize if some of the information we have provided appears vague but the goal posts keep moving! We will do our level best to keep you informed of any changes. We will soon be posting information regarding destinations outside of Europe. Another minefield to negotiate!
In the meantime, enjoy your vaping and happy holidays!