United States Download PDFAdd to comparison

In 2016 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the "deeming" of e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) as tobacco products. It is therefore legal to sell and use e-cigarettes in the USA. The FDA operates under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009, sometimes known as the TCA (Tobacco Control Act) and also the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The law requires age restrictions, a warning label, ingredients list, and registration. Sale to those under 18 years is prohibited and retailers must verify the age of customers under 27 years via photo ID before a sale is made. Sale from vending machines is restricted to adult-only establishments. A pre-market approval process for e-cigarettes is mandated which is considered by some harm reduction scientists to be onerous and to have the potential to radically reshape the market, reducing the choice available and forcing smaller e-cigarette companies to exit the market. The Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015 requires packaging to be child-proof. Many states have additional laws covering e-cigarettes such as where they can be used, or, in the case of California where flavours have been banned.
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 e-cigarette 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]
Health warning on packaging 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/

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

  • Wednesday, February 20, 2019
  • E-Cigarette Flavor Bans Will Drive More People Back to Smoking

  • By now, we are all aware that the use of flavored e-cigarettes and vaping products is running rampant in this country. A recent survey of one particular age group of electronic cigarette users (vapers) revealed that 85 percent prefer flavored e-cigarettes, including 74 percent who use fruit flavors and 66 percent who use dessert or pastry flavors. Nearly half (49 percent) of these vapers regularly used candy, chocolate or other sweet-flavored e-liquids.

    If you think we’re talking about teenagers, think again. [...]

  • Wednesday, February 20, 2019
  • RESEARCH & COMMENTARY: UTAH’S PROPOSED E-CIGARETTE TAX WILL SNUFF OUT HARM REDUCTION

  • Lawmakers in Utah have introduced legislation that would apply an 86.5 percent tax on e-cigarettes and vaping products. The legislation’s author intends to put “the price point up” to make it difficult for youth to purchase e-cigarettes. While addressing youth e-cigarette use is commendable, the draconian tax that would be placed on tobacco harm reduction (THR) products would threaten the public health gains e-cigarettes provide and hurt small businesses. 

  • Tuesday, February 19, 2019
  • Doctors Calling for Crackdown on Vaping Devices

  • Doctors are calling for a crackdown on vaping devices as the number of kids and teens using the products skyrockets.

    More kids than ever before are using these electronic cigarettes which can contain nicotine or marijuana and the I-Team found parents and schools are having a hard time keeping up. Parents were surprised when they saw the seemingly every day-looking items are actually electronic cigarettes, some hold up to 50 doses or more of nicotine.

  • Tuesday, February 19, 2019
  • Marijuana vaping fad hits campus

  • Student smokers no longer exude the potent smell of marijuana in its original state, which alarms both College advisors and law enforcement. Smoking methods that require the original flower form of marijuana such as joints, blunts or bongs that emit the alerting smell are seemingly obsolete.

    This common routine for students has become a concerning phenomenon to Janice Vermeychuk, the nurse practitioner director at Student Health Services.

  • Monday, February 18, 2019
  • E-cigarettes aren’t the Marlboro Man

  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the U.S. government’s preeminent agency governing electronic communications, telephonic infrastructure, the internet, television, and radio.

    This agency’s regulatory purview also covers digital and electronic advertisements for tobacco products. Citing this justification, Obama-era FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has voiced her concerns over e-cigarette advertisement and the so-called risks to youth who consume digital media.

  • Friday, February 15, 2019
  • Researchers Warn of Potential Harm From E-Cigarette Secondhand Vapor

  • As Arizona and other states consider legislation to limit the sale and use of e-cigarettes, researchers at the University of Arizona and elsewhere are urging caution regarding the potential danger of secondhand vapor from the devices.

    E-cigarettes are often touted as a safer alternative to regular cigarettes. But studies show that the vapor released by e-cig users is not “just water,” as e-cigarette companies advertise.