Earlier this year, the Khaleej Times reported that lawmakers had voted to legalize the sale of vaping products in the United Arab Emirates. The legalization of e-cigarettes in Dubai and other UAE municipalities ended a prohibition that began in 2009; the prohibition was put in place almost immediately after e-cigarettes appeared on the market.
The prohibition of e-cigarette sales in Dubai was lifted in April 2019, and the UAE vaping industry was off and running. Today, Dubai is full of vape shops like Dubai Vapors, all competing for slices of the rapidly growing Dubai vape market. Now that e-cigarettes have been legal for several months, I thought it might be fun to take a look at the Dubai vaping industry. In this article, you’ll learn about the legal climate for vaping in Dubai and find out how the vaping industry is likely to evolve over the next few years. I hope you enjoy this look at what it’s like to Dubai Vape store.
A Look at Dubai E-Cigarette Prohibition
As I write this, companies that market vaping products in the United States have just nine months left to figure out how their products represent net gains for public health and submit pre-market tobacco applications to the FDA. The vast majority of vaping product manufacturers will not go through the application process; it’s far too expensive, and no one is even sure what the FDA is looking for in the applications. We could be looking at a de facto prohibition of vaping products in the United States before 2020 is over.
To find out what effects the prohibition of vaping products will have in the United States, all that you need to do is look at how the people of Dubai handled e-cigarette prohibition during the first decade of the vaping industry. Smokers are going to get their nicotine, no matter what. So, what did people in the UAE do when more and more experts around the world began to agree that vaping appears to be less risky than smoking? They ordered their vape gear and e-liquid online. Sure, customs agents might have stopped a few shipments, but they couldn’t stop them all. Before long, there was a thriving black market for vape gear throughout the United Arab Emirates. It’s likely that we’ll see the same thing develop here in the United States in 2020.
Lawmakers in the UAE correctly concluded that the best way to destroy a black market is by legalizing the item being bought and sold. The legalization of vaping products, the lawmakers believed, would make it possible to put basic safety standards in place and ensure that people weren’t using unsafe vape gear or under-the-table e-liquid. Statements in the news suggest that the UAE government is still working on putting standards and regulations in place for the vaping industry. For now, though, consumers can safely assume that they’ll need to obey the same laws with vaping products that they’d need to obey with tobacco products.
What Vaping Restrictions Does Dubai Have in Place?
Although the sale of e-cigarettes in Dubai is now legal, there are still certain restrictions in place regarding how you can buy vaping products – and where you can use them – because the UAE Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 applies to both e-cigarettes and tobacco products. Are you considering traveling to Dubai? It’s wise to familiarize yourself with the law before traveling, because the penalties for smoking or vaping illegally in the UAE can be quite steep.
- You should only vape in places where you are allowed to smoke.
- You cannot buy vaping products in Dubai if you are under 18.
- You cannot vape in a car if a child is present.
- It is illegal to vape in many public places in Dubai, including schools, churches, sports facilities, hospitals and enclosed public places.
- Companies cannot sell vaping products via vending machines.
- Companies cannot advertise vaping products on television.
If you live in an area where people vape just about everywhere –on the street, at parks, in their cars – you’d better prepare yourself for the fact that things don’t work that way in the UAE. If people aren’t smoking cigarettes around you, it’s wise for you to keep your vaping device in your pocket.
What Vaping Products Are Popular in Dubai?
Sometimes, when vaping first catches on in an area, it takes a while for advanced mods to really take hold because most of the people who start out with vaping buy cigalikes and pod systems. That hasn’t been the case in Dubai; people are buying everything ranging from the smallest e-cigarettes to the biggest high-end mods. Perhaps the reason for that is because, although the sale of vaping products in Dubai was illegal for many years, people were still getting those products by ordering them online and simply taking the risk that customs agents might seize some items. So, those people have already gone through the evolution from cigalike or pod system, to vape pen, to advanced mod. The only difference is that they’re no longer risking customs seizures or paying high prices to import their vape gear.
So, what vaping products are popular in Dubai? The answer is: everything! Just like in the United States, new vapers in Dubai are often choosing pod systems. From pre-filled pod systems like the JUUL to refillable systems such as the SMOK Nord, pod systems – and nicotine salt e-liquids – are everywhere in Dubai. It’s interesting to note that tobacco vaping devices such as the iQOS system – which vaporizes cigarette-like sticks of tobacco rather than igniting them – are legal in Dubai. As restrictive as Dubai is toward vaping, you can buy the iQOS system there, but until recently, you couldn’t buy it legally in the United States at all. No word yet on whether people in Dubai prefer smoking the iQOS rather than vaping e-liquids. It’s interesting to learn about the many differences in how the world’s various governments have chosen to regulate nicotine products.