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Each country profile draws together some of the key statistics and regulatory information for each country in relation to smoking tobacco and safer nicotine products.

Import, export, sale, possession and use of e-cigarettes in mainland China is legal. Vaping is common in larger cities although local laws introduced in certain places like Shanghai, for example, prohibit vaping in non-smoking areas. Sales of e-cigarettes are banned in Macau but it is still legal to vape. There are a range of public places in which vaping is banned regardless of whether the person is vaping nicotine or not, and fines of around $190 exist for flouting these restrictions.
Selling e-cigarettes (containing nicotine) and control mechanisms
Sale of e-cigarettes
Allowed[1, 2, 3]
As tobacco products
Yes[1, 2, 3]
References

1. Vapetrotter website. Available at: https://www.vapetrotter.com/laws/

2. Global tobacco control website. Available at: https://www.globaltobaccocontrol.org/node/14052

3. Tobacco Control Laws website. Available at : https://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/

General use and availability
Legal to use
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Legal to sell device
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Legal to sell nicotine
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Legal to buy device online (personal use)
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Legal to buy nicotine online (personal use)
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Legal to import device - trade
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Legal to import nicotine - trade
Yes[1, 2, 3]
References

1. Vapetrotter website. Available at: https://www.vapetrotter.com/laws/

2. Global tobacco control website. Available at: https://www.globaltobaccocontrol.org/node/14052

3. Tobacco Control Laws website. Available at : https://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/

Health
Minimum age restrictions on sales
Yes 18+[1, 2, 3]
Legal restrictions on vaping in public places
Yes[1, 2, 3]
References

1. Vapetrotter website. Available at: https://www.vapetrotter.com/laws/

2. Global tobacco control website. Available at: https://www.globaltobaccocontrol.org/node/14052

3. Tobacco Control Laws website. Available at : https://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/

Notes on methodology & limitations

Data has been collected from a range of sources which are openly available online, such as vaping information/regulation websites & direct from country's legislation where available. In a few instances information has been included which was received from individuals specialising in the field. The regulatory picture changes frequently and these tables show the situation at time of going to press. This website will be updated as/when new regulatory information is received. There are gaps in the data available - readers are invited to send in updated information to the GSTHR team.

Country News

  • Tuesday, November 20, 2018
  • Hong Kong’s burgeoning e-cigarette industry on the precipice as city mulls total ban

  • In just over two years Thomas McRae watched his business expand from an online shop to three stores in Kowloon and on Hong Kong Island. He sells e-cigarettes, which have taken off in a big way in the city and worldwide in recent years.

    The Hong Kong Vape Association, founded in 2015, now has about 100 members, covering around 50 shops, 20 wholesalers and 30 manufacturers of e-cigarette products.

  • Monday, November 12, 2018
  • Hong Kong vaping ban would be first step to a smoke-free city

  • First, banning e-cigarettes and new tobacco products could be the initial step towards achieving the long-term goal of a smoke-free Hong Kong. Traditional cigarettes have been imported and consumed for decades, and a sudden outright ban would be impractical. But banning vaping products, which are still relatively new to the market, would prevent their gaining popularity. Simultaneously, the government should regularly review its regulations on traditional cigarettes, such as tax and import laws, [...]

  • Wednesday, November 07, 2018
  • Cities mull ban on e-cigarettes in public even though China is the biggest producer

  •  

    E-cigarettes are a booming industry in China. Although China only had a 6 percent share in the consumption of e-cigarettes in the world as of 2016, according to a report by Chinese consulting firm ASKCI Consulting, about 90 percent of e-cigarettes in the world are manufactured in China, mostly in Shenzhen. Most of these e-cigarettes are exported to countries in North America and Europe. Its invention is also deeply connected with China. [...]

  • Monday, September 10, 2018
  • Next Round of Tariffs Could Making Vaping More Expensive

  • Before the end of the week, President Donald Trump could order a new round of taxes on Chinese imports, and electronic cigarettes could be among the products targeted. Those higher import taxes on e-cigarettes would raise prices for consumers, strike a blow against public health in America, and jeopardize the future of a vaping industry that may not have ever come into being without the free exchange of goods and ideas across international borders. While it remains unclear whether e-cigarettes will be included in any future round of tariffs, vaping industry representatives argue that raising taxes on vapers would be a serious mistake.

  • Thursday, August 30, 2018
  • How should policymakers approach e-cigarettes?

  • The Hong Kong government is proud of its tobacco control efforts. The rate of smoking among the adult population is now below 20 percent. Officials believe they can get the number down to below 10 percent in the years ahead.

    This generally positive trend has been disrupted by new technology. Some time ago, the tobacco industry saw its business starting to decline, especially in the developed world. It started to research products that would be less harmful to users, or annoying to others.

  • Thursday, August 16, 2018
  • Chart Of The Day: In These Cities, Breathing Air Is Like Smoking Cigarettes

  • Illustration of a bar chart made from cigarettes of varying length The World Health Organisation keeps a close eye on air quality data, providing a global insight into just what we are all breathing every day. The relevant indicator the WHO measures is PM2.5, the "concentration of particulate matter of less than 2.5 micrometres of diameter" — that's about 3 per cent of the width of a human hair. These particles are similar to the 'tar' that smokers voluntarily inhale through cigarette filters.