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-eight 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 Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Slovenia, 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 27 countries (Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Colombia, Gambia, Greece, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritius, Nepal, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Suriname, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates and Uruguay).

In thirty-three 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, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, United States, Venezuela and Wales).

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

Advertising, promotion and sponsorship

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

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

Packaging (child safety packaging, health warnings and trademark)

Twenty-seven countries have regulations on child safety packaging (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, United States and Wales).

Twenty-eight countries mandate the placement of health warnings on e-cigarette packaging (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, United States and Wales).

Uruguay prohibits brands/patents for e-cigarettes.

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

Twenty-six countries regulate the amount (concentration/volume) of nicotine in e-liquids – in the EU the threshold concentration is 20mg/mL (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Wales). 

Twenty-six 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, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Wales).

Twenty-six 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, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Wales).

Reporting/notification

Twenty-seven 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, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, United States and Wales).

Vape-free public places

Thirty-nine countries prohibit or restrict the use of e-cigarettes in public places (Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Greece, Honduras, Jamaica, Jordan, Malta, Nepal, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea,

Slovenia, Spain, Thailand, Togo, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela and Viet Nam).

Six of these ban use in entirety (Cambodia, Jordan, Nepal, Panama, Turkmenistan and United Arab Emirates).

Estonia, Germany and Lithuania prohibit use by minors under 18 years.

Use is prohibited in vehicles with minors in Cyprus (18 years), Finland (15 years) and Slovenia (18 years). Cyprus also prohibits use in personal vehicles with a pregnant woman.

Tax

England: 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.

Italy: Tax on e-liquid for the year 2017 is 0.393 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.

Northern Ireland: 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.

Portugal: Excise tax on e-liquid for the year 2017 is 0.30 euros per mL of e-liquid.

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).
 
Scotland: 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.

Togo: E-cigarettes are subject to duties/fees and are not eligible for tax exemptions; they are taxed at a ceiling of 45 percent.

Wales: 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.