Global approaches to regulating electronic cigarettes

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Abstract

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.

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