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Before you pack your favorite vape juices for your next trip, take a few minutes to read up on local laws about vaping. While most states have age restrictions in place along with rules about vaping in public places, a handful of cities in the US are considering outright bans. San Francisco, which already prohibits the sale of flavored vaping liquids, is considering a proposal to ban the sale of all e-cigarettes in the city, which would make it the first such prohibition in the country.
Be warned, if you’re going to San Francisco, wearing a flower in your hair will be the least of your concerns – bring your favorite fruity vape liquids with you, because you won’t be able to buy them there.
If you’re traveling overseas, vaping laws are a mixed bag. Many countries regulate and tax vaping, but a handful of countries have imposed outright bans on its sale, or even its use. Be sure to check local regulations on vaping before you travel. Vapor Authority, one of the most reputable online vendors of vaping equipment and liquids, offered a review of vaping laws in some of their favorite tourist destinations:
France tends to be a little more permissive than other European destinations, and like the UK, you can vape wherever smoking is allowed. Just avoid it if you’re on public transportation, or if there are children present.
Hong Kong is a little more strict about vaping than Macau, which is just across the bay. The Chinese Special Administrative Territory is moving ahead with a complete ban, with a potential penalty of six months in jail. You won’t be able to buy vaping liquids, e-cigarettes or equipment in Hong Kong. They will remain legal to use, but you can’t bring them in, and customs will seize your e-cigarettes and probably issue you a fine. If you want to enjoy your vape, avoid Hong Kong and stick to Macau.
India is a fascinating and beautiful destination, but whether or not you can vape depends on where you’re going. It’s banned in six states, including Jammu, Kashmir, Karnataka, Punjab, Maharashtra and Kerala.
Japan allows the sale and use of vaping devices, but it is illegal to sell liquids which contain nicotine. Heat-not-burn devices are more common than vaping. You can find vape shops in Japan with plenty of flavors, but you’re not going to get your nicotine fix there.
Macau, often referred to as the “Las Vegas of the Far East,” is home to some of the world’s most glamorous casinos. Vaping is permitted, but regulated – you are not allowed to vape in any no-smoking areas. If you’re planning to visit a casino there, tableside smoking and vaping is not allowed, but many do have smoking lounges where you can enjoy your vape.
Mexico laws are a little complicated and confusing, and it’s illegal to sell vaping liquids and equipment there, although they are legal to use. Nonetheless, vaping is common, and tourists bringing in their vaping gear usually have no problems with customs or police.
The Netherlands is well known for its lax rules towards marijuana, and Amsterdam is home to plenty of legal dispensaries and marijuana coffee shops – but can you vape there? Absolutely! It’s age restricted and not allowed for under 18, and there are some restrictions as to nicotine content – it needs to be less than 20mg/mL.
Thailand is a perennial southeast Asian tourist favorite, but it’s the worst country in the world for travelers who like to vape. Vaping is illegal there, and possessing an e-cigarette can earn you a fine of 30,000 baht (about $946), or even a jail sentence and deportation. And if you’re thinking about just bringing your kit in your luggage and vaping in the privacy of your hotel room, you’re out of luck – the excise department is likely to seize them.
The United Kingdom is a different story, though, and not only is vaping perfectly legal, it’s encouraged. Unlike the U.S., the U.K. has acknowledged that vaping is safer than combustible cigarettes, and is useful as a smoking cessation tool. So enjoy looking at Big Ben and the Tower of London, and vape away!
Vietnam has transformed itself into an attractive destination, and tourists flock to this country to take advantage of its rich culture and striking landscape. But like Thailand, vaping is banned, and laws are strict and punishments harsh. Leave your kit at home if you’re going here.
The most important thing to remember when traveling is to respect the local laws and customs. Vaping laws can vary dramatically from country to country, and you may find that they are banned in one destination, but just across the border they are allowed (as is the case in Hong Kong, where vaping is banned, and neighboring Macau, where it is legal but restricted). Check before you travel, leave them at home where they are not permitted, and enjoy your vapes where they are!