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Global approaches to regulating electronic cigarettes
  1. Ryan David Kennedy,
  2. Ayodeji Awopegba,
  3. Elaine De León,
  4. Joanna E Cohen
  1. Department of Health, Behavior & Society, Institute for Global Tobacco Control, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor Ryan David Kennedy, Department of Health, Behavior & Society, Institute for Global Tobacco Control, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2213 McElderry Street, 4th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA; rdkennedy{at}


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

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

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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:

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