If you are headed to Africa, it’s important to know the existing laws that regulate vaping before you even think about carrying the best vape mod. In most African countries, there are no clear vaping regulations like in some countries in Europe and America. However, this doesn’t mean you can vape everywhere freely.
Generally, there is confusion that surrounds vaping and e-cigarettes regulation in most African countries. In Kenya for instance, the government banned Shisha thereby leading to increased popularity of vaping and e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes were readily available in the Kenyan market before Shisha ban. However, their popularity forced retailers to increase their importation following the increased demand for e-cigarettes after the ban.
Vaping in Northern Africa
In most Northern Africa countries, there are no clear rules that regulate vaping. In some countries, it is uncertain whether vaping is legal or illegal. For instance, in Algeria, Libya, Sudan, Tunisia and Western Sahara, it is uncertain whether vaping is legal or illegal. Vaping is not allowed in public though e-cigarettes are legal in Egypt. Morocco does not have regulations for vaping. Importation of e-liquids and e-cigarettes is allowed in Morocco. Vaping is also tolerated in public in this country.
Vaping in Southern Africa
If you are headed to Namibia or Botswana, be ready to enjoy your best vape product because vaping is legal in these countries. In South Africa, e-cigarettes are legal. However, e-liquids that have nicotine are illegal. Nevertheless, there are reports that these e-liquids are readily available in the markets despite being technically illegal.
Vaping in Lesotho and Swaziland is allowed in areas that are designated for smoking. E-cigarettes are not illegal in Mozambique though they are regulated like tobacco products. Vaping is legal in areas that are designated for smoking in Madagascar just like tobacco products. Despite being hard to find, e-cigarettes are legal in Mauritius. Therefore, if you are headed to this country, carry your supplies.
People are allowed to vape in areas designated for smoking in Zambia while Zimbabweans are not allowed to vape in public despite e-cigarettes being legal.
Vaping in Eastern Africa
In Djibouti, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Somalia, it is uncertain whether vaping is legal. It is unclear whether vaping is allowed in Eritrea. Uganda on the other hand banned e-cigarettes in 2016. In Kenya, e-cigarettes remain legal. Ethiopia does not allow vaping in public but e-cigarettes remain legal.
Vaping in Western Africa
It is uncertain whether vaping is legal in Burkina Faso, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. In Benin, it is legal to have e-cigarettes. Vaping in areas that are designated for smoking is allowed in Ghana. It is uncertain whether vaping is legal in Nigeria though the World Health Organization reports that the country has banned the use of tobacco in public. E-cigarettes remain legal in Senegal while Sierra Leone allows vaping in areas that are designated for smoking. Vaping in public is banned in Togo.
Vaping in Central Africa
When going to Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, or Congo, feel free to carry VapingDaily vape mods because they are legal in these countries. However, it is uncertain whether vaping is legal in Equatorial Guinea and Central African Republic. It is legal to vape in Chad and Gabon as long as it is done in areas that are designated for smoking.
It is important to note that just like in other continents the laws that regulate vaping in Africa are changing. For instance, there are reports that Ghana is currently working on banning e-cigarettes alongside Shisha. Health officials in South Africa are also requesting their government to treat e-cigarettes like tobacco products.
In an interview, the Health Minister, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, said that some e-cigarettes come with nicotine. As such, they are similar to traditional cigarettes when viewed from a health perspective. The minister does not buy the argument that e-cigarette vapor seems safer than traditional cigarettes according to some studies.
What’s more, there are variations in terms of how African countries implement or enforce the laws that regulate vaping. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, take precaution. If vaping is illegal in the African country that you are visiting don’t vape while there. You might not be worried about having your e-cigarette seized but being caught vaping where it is not allowed comes with harsh consequences.
There are contrasting arguments regarding vaping in Africa. Some people argue that vaping is weaning individuals off tobacco smoking while others argue that it still supply the addictive nicotine. According to people that support vaping in Africa, vaping should be seen as a partner to health agenda. They argue that as long as it is not sold to persons less than 18 years of age, it is a sure way to reduce smoking in the continent. Nevertheless, they agree that the nicotine in vaping products should be reduced to non-addictive levels.
Those against vaping on the other hand argue that even the FDA has confirmed that nicotine levels can’t be reduced to zero in vaping products. This implies that people can still be addicted to nicotine when they vape. They further argue that nicotine is responsible for illnesses like the heart disease, lung disease and cancer. Some organizations have even urged some African countries to curb advertising, sale and use of e-cigarettes arguing that they pose the same risks as traditional cigarettes.
The Bottom Line
Though more research is required to determine the risks and benefits of vaping, some people argue that e-cigarettes have the potential to lower the smoking rate in Africa. While the debate on whether to legalize or ban vaping in some African countries continues, medical research on the benefits of vaping and e-cigarettes should be done. Medical bodies like the World Health Organization and anti-smoking bodies are joining the debate with varying views.
Clearly, it will take time before African countries where vaping regulation remains uncertain come out with clear legislation. African organizations like the Vapor Product Association are committed to gathering and supplying information regarding vaping to the public. In the meantime, check out the laws that regulate vaping in the African country that you want to visit before you pack your vape mod kits to be on the safe side.
Header Image Credit: White Cloud Electronic Cigarettes
About the Author
Margaret Wilson is a blogger who writes about the healthy way of life (healthy food, sports, motivation etc.)
She is currently studying vaping as an alternative for people who are struggling with smoking.