Where can you vape legally?
Electronic cigarettes offer a welcome respite to tobacco smokers. In recent years the demonization of smokers has resulted in those looking for their nicotine fix and lighting up, earning the ire of everybody within sight.
The anti smoking message has been well publicised and funded for years and smoking is now looked at as being anti social in many situations. Smoking indoors in public places is out of the question, so smokers are having to bear bad weather and cramped outdoor smoking areas to enjoy a pleasure that once came so easily.
However there is an alternative. E-cigarettes offer smokers the chance to get their nicotine hit without being considered a nuisance in public.
Due to lack of clinical studies and further scientific research on the effects of electronic cigarettes, many countries have looked at it with the same disdain as that of real cigarettes.
Some countries that have allowed it to be used by their citizens have subjected it into the same regulation as tobacco cigarettes. Legally, it should not be at the same category as tobacco products as there is literally no combustion involved to get their nicotine fix.
At the moment, those in favour of vapour cigs are willing to settle in this grey area as long as they’d be allowed to enjoy their nicotine anywhere.
The dilemma in the United States
The Food and Drug Administration have agreed not to contest the court ruling that classifies electronic cigarettes as tobacco products. Manufacturers and distributors of the e-cig were relieved that the legal battle over its regulation for over three years has been put to rest.
It is a more favourable verdict instead of having e-cigs become strictly regulated when classified as a medical device. Not all states prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in places where tobacco use is restricted. In Iowa, for example, allow vaping indoors although some would have to contend with envious tobacco smokers who had to take a drag outdoors.
Recently, places where tobacco smoking had been prohibited had been infiltrated by e-cigs. However, some states have passed some laws that limit the places where vaping can take effect. Smoking indoors or inside the airplane has been restricting vaping for various reasons. Sales to minors have also been prohibited as well the health claims that e-cigs are healthier alternative to real cigars.
Where e-cigs stand in the UK & Europe
Vaping with electronic cigarettes are not banned in the United Kingdom as it is exempted from the Health Act of 2006. It is considered as a nicotine inhaler with an added plus of being almost real in terms of looks and taste.
You can vape anywhere you want – pubs, cafeterias, offices, factories, and the like are fair game.
The problem though, is not in the law. Etiquette plays a major role here. For example, you can vape all you want at work but it’s wise to ask permission from your employer and your colleagues, especially if they have special health conditions such as pregnancy or asthma.
Watch where you vape in Europe
When you’re off travelling in other parts of Europe, using the electronic cigarettes become a little tricky depending on where you’re at. At the moment, the European Union has yet to issue a specific law that covers the use of fake fags. They’re still debating on Europe’s stand on smokeless tobacco.
One thing’s for sure – never use your e-cigs in Belgium, Denmark and Norway. They cannot be sold, bought, marketed, distributed or imported in these countries. Slightly lenient are Austria and Germany where the vapour cig is classified as a medical device. This means they have to be registered before being sold to the public.
Gray areas regarding its use hover over Finland and the Netherlands. Selling cartridges is prohibited in Finland but you can import some for personal use when ordered over the internet. In the Netherlands, you can buy and use but cannot advertise that you have e-cigs for sale.
The future of vaping
Although there are some studies that showed statistics favouring the use of electronic cigarettes, there is a prevailing dissent among countries to legislate its use.
Lobbyists from the tobacco and pharmaceutical industry are against it. There is a 6% conversion of smokers to e-cigs by 2013. A more conservative forecast set it to about 25% vapers by 2025.