Prohibited, limited or allowed: the differences in the legal framework of the electronic cigarette

If you own one of the 7 million electronic cigarettes that exist in the European Union, beware: the differences in the world where you can and cannot make use of it is abysmal. They are even are fully banned in some countries: if, for example, you wish to travel to Hong Kong, it is best to leave it at home.

Chaos is huge: Should it be treated as snuff? Should it be treated as a therapeutic product? Are they safe to consume? There is no consensus or any conclusive medical report, and that’s why some countries have completely banned its use, while others have chosen not to do anything yet. At the same time, the business of ‘e-cigarettes’ continues to grow in sales in the EU and have reached 500 million Euros, according to Euromonitor International, amounting to 2,000 million Euros worldwide.

In Spain, though, the Ministry of Health has taken the first step to consider the electronic cigarette as a product different than snuff. Although for now the minimum agreement reached in the inter-territorial health board includes a ban in schools, hospitals , buildings of government services, citizen services and public transport, still there is no spoken agreement to the other enclosed public spaces such as restaurants, offices, cinemas, theaters or sale on the premises.

Still, Spain seems to walk in the same direction of regulation as those adopted by Malta or France. In Italy, the ban has been recently removed and allow again “vapee” in public places. Malta approved this year a classify of electronic cigarettes as a product of snuff: now sold in tobacconists, just over 18 years, it is forbidden to advertise them and their use in all enclosed public spaces, restaurants and workplaces.

Meanwhile France has also limited its use in places where smoking is not allowed. However, it has reached to a twist: if it exceeds 20 milligrams of nicotine per milliliter (usually normally not exceed 18 mg/ml ) cigarettes are considered a therapeutic product and should be marketed as such, and are subject to the same controls.