Vaping is banned in many countries in the middle-east and one of these is the United Arab Emirates (UAE). However, this now looks set to change and the policy adjustment could take place in the next couple of months.

On Saturday, the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA) announced that they’d approved new standards for nicotine components in e-cigarettes. Abdullah Al Maeeni, Director General of ESMA said,

“We issued the regulation to legalise it, and it will be enforced by mid of April 2019, as the Authority is working hard through the development of technical standards and regulations.”

Despite e-cigarettes being banned in the UAE, reports suggest that people would still freely vape on the streets. With proper policies, vendors will be allowed to sell e-cigarettes and e-liquid legally by mid-April.

Not only should this help combat smoking, it will also reduce the number of counterfeit products and bring the price of vaping products down.

The Khaleej Times spoke to a UK resident who vapes in UAE, who said:

“Despite the sale of products being illegal here, it still happens. New regulations will make sure users are getting a ‘safe’ product. Tighter regulation is good.”

“Sellers take advantage of you because vapes are not available everywhere. I pay anything between Dh60-Dh100 (£12–£21) for e-liquids and between Dh180-Dh1,000 (£38 – £210) for the vape unit, depending on size. I’m looking forward to paying less.”

Taking note of international policies

Reports suggest that around 16% of the country’s population are UAE residents. The remaining 84% are expats, the majority who have made the trip over to work in one of the thriving industries. Taking on positive policies which have been tried and tested on an international level is therefore very important.

Not only is this an important step forward for smokers and vapers in the UAE, it also shows that the global message on vaping is becoming more powerful. Abdullah Al Maeeni said that the new standards are aligned with best international practices.

The UK is recognised by health experts as world leaders in tobacco control and vaping policy. It’s good to see more and more countries following suit and taking note of the extensive research and encouraging results which are being published.

Whilst fake news is rife in the vaping industry, it appears that the reliable research is finally starting to prevail. Last week Ireland committed to reviewing e-cigarette policy and becoming more pro-active in tackling smoking. This week it’s the UAE and we could see more countries, such as Australia follow suit.

Are you a vaper who has been to the UAE? Let us know about your experiences in the comments.

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