Vaping of e-cigarettes is now prohibited within offices and enclosed spaces throughout the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as confirmed by the health ministry. The use of e-cigarettes has been brought under the purview of the federal law on tobacco control within the country.
This decision follows the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP)’s emphasis on the hazards associated with consuming tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, as reported by the Khaleej Times.
The federal law, as detailed on the UAE government website, also encompasses several other prohibitions and penalties, including:
1. Sale of tobacco products to individuals under 18 years of age.
2. Smoking in private vehicles when a child below 12 years of age is present.
3. Smoking within places of worship, educational institutions (such as schools and universities), health and sports facilities.
4. Usage of automatic vending equipment and devices for tobacco distribution within the country.
5. Tobacco advertisement.
The MoHAP has collaborated with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority to block websites that promote and advertise electronic nicotine-delivery systems.
Initially, the UAE had considered a ban on vaping products due to concerns raised by local doctors, who believed that e-cigarettes might lead to a new generation of smokers. However, advocacy groups advocating for harm reduction products influenced the country’s decision.
The Ministry referred to the National Health Survey, indicating a decline in the prevalence of adult tobacco smoking from 11.1 percent in 2010 to 9.1 percent in 2018.
The most recent edition of the Tobacco Atlas reveals that the UAE boasts one of the lowest rates of cigarette consumption. A graphic within the report indicates that an adult smoker in the country consumes 438 cigarettes annually.