What are the most vaper-friendly countries in Europe?
Here’s a round-up of how some different European countries encourage or discourage vapers.
All 28 EU member states must comply with the Tobacco Products Directive or TPD which has stated that e-liquid nicotine concentrations must not be greater than 2% mg/mL and the e-liquid tank must not carry more than 2mL of liquid. But from there on in, anything goes. The attitude to vaping is affected by both cultural preferences and government initiatives.
On the two extremes of the scale, Switzerland bans the sale of nicotine-containing e-juice altogether. On the other hand, in the UK, vaping equipment is now openly and actively sold in hospitals with a nicotine concentration of 2% as a means to discourage tobacco smoking.
A recent study produced by the Nanny State Index placed Sweden out in front as the best place to vape in Europe.
Sweden’s unique approach to smoking cessation alternatives have led to the lowest rates of smoking in Europe at just 7%.
Back in 1995, before Sweden entered the EU, it arranged to opt-out of a ban on snus.
Snus is a tobacco product similar to a small teabag that is placed under the lip for nicotine to be absorbed less harmfully. It is considered to be 90% less harmful than smoking, but is banned in all other European countries.
If you try snus in Sweden and like it, then it’s legal to take some home for personal use.
Sweden comes out top of the league in terms of low taxes and tolerance to snus. Vaping is very well accepted. But there’s no real vape community with less than one percent of the population vaping.
Vaping in France is experiencing around 5-10% growth year upon year. There are now thought to be around one to two million daily vape users in France. This is following a study that confirmed many vapers were ex- smokers. As a result, vaping has been touted as a successful smoking cessation tool.
Smoking is prevalent and fashionable in France, with still around a third of the population smoking. You can’t vape and smoke in enclosed spaces, but you are free to indulge in the countless bars and eateries. Just be careful not to vape on public transport, or you may be fined up to €150.
Still part of the EU in the lead-up to Brexit, the UK has seen its beloved NHS breaking at the seams due to smoking-related illness.
Programs to help smokers quit have been commonplace for years, along with high taxes on tobacco products. England has seen proof that smokers are far more able to switch to vaping than to “quit completely.”
As a result of such, several studies have been commissioned dedicated to e-cigarette safety. The conclusion of these studies is that vaping is 95% better for you than smoking.
The UK has therefore welcomed vaping with open arms however have placed a limit on the size of the e-liquid tank (2mL) and nicotine concentration (2%). You can find vape shops in city centres, and you can try vaping in bars, but you may be asked to stop. Technically where you can’t smoke, you can’t vape either. Around 5% of UK citizens vape, so you won’t be on your own.
Germany has a more relaxed and less nannying attitude towards alcohol, food, and tobacco.
There are some limited smoking bans in Germany. But because it has been ruled that e-cigarettes are not tobacco products, vaping is allowed even where you see smoking is banned.
The only real vaping ban is on public transport. There are also no regulations on vape advertising as Germany looks to cut its smoking rate from 25%. Vaping is becoming popular, with around 2% of Germans vaping daily.
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