Who can believe it’s World Cup time once again.
As the competition heats up over the next few weeks in Russia, we’re going to take a look at the state of vaping between nations as they go head to head.
FRANCE -V- AUSTRALIA
As a vape news publication, we’re constantly watching developments down under as the country famously has some of the strictest regulations on vaping.
In total contrast to the Aussies, France is vying with the UK for the highest number of vapers in Europe. As with the UK, you can vape safely wherever smoking is allowed. New laws were passed in 2016 prohibiting vaping on public transport or in areas where children are present.
As of October 1 2017, vaping has been forbidden in office spaces, on public transport and in any school establishment, however in the workplace, employees with private offices will be able to vape behind closed doors.
Open plan offices feel the rules a bit tighter as employees in that atmosphere will need to wait for their coffee break to vape.
The French vape market is represented by 1.2 million daily e-cigarette users according to research from financial market research group Xerfi, however some in the sector predict that number is closer to 2 million.
Neutral cigarette packaging and government plans to raise cigarette prices by three euro by 2020 make for good news for the vape industry in France, and the country’s measures are working, as one million people managed to quit smoking in the space of one year, from 2016 to 17.
There’s also a strong presence of vape expos across France.
Down Under it’s a total different story.
Liquid nicotine is classed as a poison in Australia and so e-cigarettes containing nicotine e-liquids are illegal. Several provinces including Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, the ACT and New South Wales, have banned vaping in all public places, including on public transport with fines of $550 being issued to those found in breach of the rules. Breaking it down, vaping is banned wherever the smoking ban is already in place in Australia, which is widespread.
There does seem to be growing support for e-cigarettes as a tool for smoking cessation in the nation however, as a year-long public inquiry into e-cigarettes ended with a lot of noise. One dissenting member of parliament Andrew Laming commented, “Life is short and shorter for smokers. Just legalise vaping,” following the outcome of the inquiry.
PERU -V- DENMARK
Let’s stay close to home first and start with the Danes.
Until recently, vaping products were classed as medical supplies in the nordic nation and were therefore banned from general sale to consumers. Following the implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive last year, Denmark fell in line with the rest of the European Union, legalising vape products and making them available to the adults of the public. Vaping is now permitted in public places across Denmark but you won’t find as many vape shops on Danish high streets as you will in the UK or Ireland, as the industry is only starting to establish itself. Denmark is also set to host its debut vape expo too – which can only be a great sign for the industry there. Vape Scandinavia will be the region’s first ever e-cigarette trade show and takes place July 28 and 29.
The status of e-cigarettes in Peru meanwhile is unclear. Many online forums show reports of being able to purchase e-cigarettes easily, and many travellers claim to have purchased supplies while touring the country. However this doesn’t mean vaping is legal in Peru – it could simply be a case of the authorities turning a blind eye, so err on the side of caution if planning a trip there.
SOUTH KOREA -V- MEXICO
Vaping products are regulated as tobacco products so therefore the same restrictions apply to vaping as smoking in South Korea. Vapers can buy vaping products but they are heavily taxed, driving up the price. It’s a positive time for vaping in South Korea however, as the country is about to welcome its first vape expo next year. KINTEX (Korea International Exhibition Center) recently announced that VAPE KOREA EXPO 2018 will take place in September in the capital, Seoul.
Meanwhile across the Pacific, vaping is also legal in Mexico. But federal law there says you can’t sell, trade, promote, distribute or produce any vaping products. E-cigarettes are governed by a law first introduced to regulate the sale of candy cigarettes believe it or not. There is no law against taking your vape with you when you visit Mexico on holiday but there have been reports of devices being confiscated by customs across various online forums, which is a good reminder for all to check their destination’s rules and regulation prior to leaving for the airport.
ENGLAND -V- BELGIUM
Let’s cut to the chase. The UK is probably the most vape-friendly place in all of Europe. So what about Belgium? For a country that’s widely been known to be smoker friendly, the rules on vaping in Belgium are considered to be tough. E-cigarettes were only legalised as a consumer product in 2016 and they are classed as a tobacco product so they are under the same restrictions as smoking. Vape shops exist but mainly in larger towns and cities and are not as widely found as they are in the UK and Ireland.