Policy Domains

E-cigarette policies reviewed included the following regulatory domains: minimum age for purchase, sale, advertising, promotion and sponsorship, packaging (child safety packaging, health warning labeling, trademark), product regulation (nicotine volume/concentration, safety/hygiene, ingredients/flavors), reporting/notification, vape-free and tax. The most common policy domains are discussed in greater detail below.

Minimum age

In twenty-two countries, the minimum age for e-cigarette purchase mirrors those of traditional cigarettes in the country. The minimum age of purchase is 18 years in Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Togo, Ukraine, United States and Viet Nam; 19 years in the Republic of Korea and 21 years in Honduras.

Sale

Sale of all types of e-cigarettes is banned in 23 countries (Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Colombia, Greece, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Suriname, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Uruguay).

In twenty-two countries, that permit the sale of e-cigarettes, there are regulations around sale such as marketing authorization requirement, or cross-border sale restrictions/regulations (Austria, Denmark, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States and Venezuela).

Eleven countries prohibit the sale of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand and Switzerland).
Nine countries do not have regulations on sale beyond age of majority purchase rules (Ecuador, Estonia, Honduras, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Spain, Togo, Ukraine and Viet Nam).

Advertising, promotion and sponsorship

Forty-eight countries regulate advertising, promotion, or sponsorship of e-cigarettes (Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Spain, Togo, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela and Viet Nam).

Eight of these countries apply the advertising restrictions only to e-cigarettes that contain nicotine or that are regulated as medicines (Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, Japan, Mexico and New Zealand).

Packaging (child safety packaging, health warnings and trademark)

Fourteen countries have regulations on child safety packaging (Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Philippines, Portugal, United Kingdom and United States).

Fourteen countries mandate the placement of health warnings on e-cigarette packaging (Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom and United States).

Uruguay prohibits brands/patents for e-cigarettes.

Product regulation (nicotine volume/concentration, safety/hygiene, ingredients/flavors)

Fourteen countries regulate the amount (concentration/volume) of nicotine in e-liquids – in the EU the threshold concentration is 20mg/mL (Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal and United Kingdom).

Thirteen countries do not permit the use of ingredients (other than nicotine) that pose a risk to human health in heated or unheated form in nicotine-containing e-liquid (Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Philippines, Portugal and United Kingdom).

Thirteen countries regulate the quality of nicotine and other ingredients used to manufacture the e-liquid, as well as regulate the flavors that can be used in e-liquids (Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal and United Kingdom).

Reporting/notification

Thirteen countries have regulations that require manufacturers/retailers to notify the competent authority prior to introducing e-cigarettes to the market, as well as submit an annual report of sales and other specified information (Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, United Kingdom and United States).

Vape-free public places

Thirty-one countries regulate the use of e-cigarettes in public places (Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Fiji, Greece, Honduras, Jamaica, Jordan, Malta, Nepal, Panama, Philippines, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Spain, Thailand, Togo, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela and Viet Nam).

Three of these ban use in entirety (Cambodia, Jordan and United Arab Emirates). Estonia, Germany and Lithuania prohibit use by minors under 18 years.

Tax

Italy: Tax on e-liquid for the year 2016 is 0.3850 euros per ml of e-liquid and this is related to the Weighted Average Price (WAP) of tobacco cigarettes calculated every year; there is also a 22% Value Added Tax (VAT) of the final retail price.

Latvia: Tax on e-liquid is 0.01 euro per mL and about 0.005 euros per 1mg of nicotine. There is also a 21% Value Added Tax (VAT) of the final retail price.

Portugal: E-liquid is taxed at a rate of $0.70 per milliliter.

Republic of Korea: Nicotine-containing e-cigarettes are subject to a number of taxes and charges (national health promotion, tobacco consumption, local education, and individual consumption taxes) proportional to 1,799 won/mL nicotine liquid; in addition there is a waste charge of 24 won/20 cartridges and a 10% Value Added Tax (VAT).
 
Togo: E-cigarettes are subject to duties/fees and are not eligible for tax exemptions; they are taxed at a ceiling of 45 percent.

United Kingdom: As consumer products, they are subject to a 20% Value Added Tax; however, if they are regulated as Medicines, a 5% VAT is levied instead.