Are Vape Pens Illegal?

From the moment e-cigarettes and vaporizer pens made their debut, they have been under fire. Vape pens, mods etc are pure consumer purchase devices and nothing more. They cannot be called a tobacco product since the nicotine used in its flavored liquid can be sourced from any vegetable source or can be synthesized. It’s also not a pharmaceutical product, as it is not devised to treat or cure any disease or to be used as a smoking cessation product.

Those who are against vapes and  e-cigs take the view that although they claim to be a healthy alternative to real cigarettes, there are dangers associated with them as well. The flavored liquids used in e-cigarettes contain varying amounts of nicotine as such these devices do not treat the nicotine urge or the inhalation habit. It can also fall into the hands of someone under aged.

However, despite the presence of nicotine in the flavored liquids being used, the dangers associated with the e-cigs and such are far less than the real tobacco cigarettes. There is no burning of chemicals or toxic materials which produces harmful smoke and tar as in the case of conventional cigarettes.

The reason for the ban on vapes (in our opinion) is that not enough research has been conducted on the devices to point out their actual effects.

Pharmaceutical Licenses

As of now, no country in the world has legalized e-cigarettes and therefore, no pharmaceutical licenses have been issued in their favor. As mentioned, e-cigarettes are not meant to cure or treat any illness or to be used as a smoking cessation device. Therefore, there is no medical license issued for e-cigarettes. Nevertheless, several countries are banning the use of e-cigarettes for teenagers and those less than 18 years of age. Many countries including the United States have placed bans on vaping or using an e-cigarette in public places.

It is being said that the present day e-cigarettes do not fulfill the criteria required to obtain a license. So, if these have to be legalized, a new type of e-cigarette must be manufactured before it can get the market authorization or license to sell commercially. Moreover, claims suggest it would take at least three years to obtain the required license.

However, it must be understood that there is a difference between using or selling the e-cigarettes personally and commercially. While there is some form of resistance on selling of e-cigarettes commercially in almost all countries, there is no ban on personal imports. While the customs could ban imports of e-cigarettes for commercial purposes, it cannot stop the personal packages from arriving via the postal service.

The Two-Tier System

While some countries of the world have imposed a blanket ban on the use of vapes, others are following the two-tier system. According to this system, the device or product is divided into two groups; nicotine and non-nicotine products.

  • If the hardware does not contain any nicotine, it is permitted for use
  • The refills that are without nicotine or nicotine-free, are permitted for use
  • The pre-filled liquids that have some quantities of nicotine can be used only after obtaining a medical license.

So, as of now, the e-cigarettes are not legalized by the legislations of various countries. However, being treated as consumer durables, these devices are finding ways into many homes. Only time would tell whether e-cigarettes would be available without restriction or if users will have to buy them through the black market.