Objectives Classify and describe the policy approaches used by countries to regulate e-cigarettes.
Methods National policies regulating e-cigarettes were identified by (1) conducting web searches on Ministry of Health websites, and (2) broad web searches. The mechanisms used to regulate e-cigarettes were classified as new/amended laws, or existing laws. The policy domains identified include restrictions or prohibitions on product: sale, manufacturing, importation, distribution, use, product design including e-liquid ingredients, advertising/promotion/sponsorship, trademarks, and regulation requiring: taxation, health warning labels and child-safety standards. The classification of the policy was reviewed by a country expert.
Results The search identified 68 countries that regulate e-cigarettes: 22 countries regulate e-cigarettes using existing regulations; 25 countries enacted new policies to regulate e-cigarettes; 7 countries made amendments to existing legislation; 14 countries use a combination of new/amended and existing regulation. Common policies include a minimum-age-of-purchase, indoor-use (vape-free public places) bans and marketing restrictions. Few countries are applying a tax to e-cigarettes.
Conclusions A range of regulatory approaches are being applied to e-cigarettes globally; many countries regulate e-cigarettes using legislation not written for e-cigarettes.
- Electronic nicotine delivery devices
- Non-cigarette tobacco products
- Public policy
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Contributors JEC and RDK conceived this paper. Data collection was conducted by AA and EDL; organisation of data was conducted by AA, EDL and RDK. RDK authored the paper with major contributions from all authors. All authors approved the final draft.
Funding The funding was provided by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Grant Numbers: 72208 and 72390, with some personnel supported through a grant from the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement The state of global e-cigarette regulation will be updated and reported at: globaltobaccocontrol.org/e-cigarette/country-laws-regulating-e-cigarettes.
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