International Vape News

Posted 6th September 2016 by Dave Cross
Vaping continues to experience growth in demand in some regions, although bans may be in place. Other regions are gearing themselves up for a fight to keep vaping a legal option for ex-smokers. In Britain, a large B2B company sees enough of a future to invest in an electronic cigarette distribution centre.

Vaping is apparently booming in Japan, despite restriction on where people can vape in certain municipalities. It has been driven by a huge marketing drive from Philip Morris, to promote its smoke-free heated tobacco device, and a concerted push by Japan Tobacco. While Osaka and Nagoya have exempted vaping products from restrictions, Tokyo have classified them as tobacco products and banned them from being used in the street.

Ecigs are also experiencing an unexpected and surprising surge in demand in the United Arab Emirates, even though they are banned. The Ministry of Health and Prevention has instructed customs staff to seize all vaping devices if discovered at the airport while their Telecommunications Regulatory Authority is actively attempting to block any website offering products for sale in the region. Against this backdrop, websites continue to proliferate and vape kit is still finding a keen market – one of which, Dubai Vapers, claims to have already filled 18,000 orders.

The news isn’t quite as positive in Hong Kong as a total ban looms closer. The Secretary for Food and Health has already announced to “completely prohibit the import, manufacture, sale, distribution and advertising of e-cigarettes” last month. The Hong Kong Vape Association is now campaigning to get the authorities to see sense, accept vaping as a harm reduction tool and not to treat it like illegal drugs. They warn that to implement an absolute ban would do nothing but encourage a black market – although with China also looking to clamp down on electronic cigarettes it is not certain where the devices would come from.

American sailors can also look forward to being banned from using ecigs on their bases or at sea. The Naval Safety Centre is quoted as being concerned about the potential for lithium-ion cells to explode during charging or use: “these devices pose a significant and unacceptable risk to Navy personnel, facilities, submarines, ships, vessels and aircraft”. It is uncertain if the Navy is also planning on banning cellphones, laptop computers, tablets and anything else powered by the same technology.

The memo advising a vape ban continues: “It is strongly recommended that action be taken to prohibit these devices from use, transport, or storage on Navy facilities, submarines, ships, vessels, and aircraft. In conjunction with these efforts, it is recommended that the Navy launch a dedicated safety campaign to inform service members about the potential danger of these products.” 


Meanwhile in Britain, news comes that the Chinese B2B online giant DHgate is to open an electronic cigarette distribution warehouse. The move makes sense for the company if Britain follows through with its Brexit plans, especially if The Sun is correct in its prediction we are set to see the Tobacco Products Directive ignored. It will certainly make it easier for vendors to source compliant and affordable stock, without the inconvenience of arranging importation. 

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, motorbikes, and dog walker
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