Japan Download PDFAdd to comparison

In Japan it is illegal to sell nicotine-containing e-cigarettes as they are categorised as medicinal products, and as of yet none have been approved. However, Japanese vapers can import up to one month's supply for their own individual use. E-cigarettes without nicotine are not regulated. Restrictions on vaping indoors in public places exist.
Selling e-cigarettes (containing nicotine) and control mechanisms
Sale of e-cigarettes
Banned[1, 2, 3]
As medicinal 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 e-cigarette device
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Legal to sell nicotine
No[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 nicotine - trade
No[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 20+[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/

Products
Notifications of new products required
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 data boxes 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

  • Friday, January 18, 2019
  • Japan Tobacco ratchets up smokeless war with new products

  • Japan Tobacco Inc (2914.T) on Thursday unveiled two “heat-not-burn” products, as it races against market leader Philip Morris International Inc (PM.N) for a larger share of the vaping space with conventional cigarettes steadily falling out of favor. Despite commanding 60 percent of the local cigarette market, Japan Tobacco has been caught on the wrong side of the rising popularity of heat-not-burn (HNB) alternatives and has lagged in the category in its own backyard versus the Marlboro maker.

  • Friday, October 26, 2018
  • In Japan, a glimpse at alternatives to cigarettes

  • Japan has always been a unique country, with a culture that is obsessed with order, cleanliness, discipline but also tinged with some quirkiness not seen anywhere else in the world.

    Famously considerate, the way Japan has dealt with the growing global anti-smoking trend is to ban smoking in many places but provide well-ventilated areas away from non-smokers for smokers. Every shopping centre in Tokyo has a smoking room. [...]

  • Wednesday, October 24, 2018
  • Philip Morris seeks bigger Japan share with cheaper heat-not-burn tobacco

  • Philip Morris International Inc will sell cheaper versions of its IQOS "heat not burn" products in Japan from Tuesday and introduce new upgraded products next month to expand market share, its chief executive said.

    As regular e-cigarettes with nicotine-laced liquid are effectively banned in Japan, the country has become the main market for "heat not burn" (HNB) products, which emit less smoke and smell less than conventional cigarettes.