You Won’t Believe the Punishment for Selling Vapes in Dubai

    Vaping and e-cigs are forbidden in the wealthy Persian Gulf emirate


    If you break the law and sell e-cigarettes in Dubai a second time, you could be fined as much as $136,000.

    Vaping is illegal in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as are vapor products of all types. Two tobacco shops recently had inventory seized and destroyed by the Public Health and Safety Department (PHSD), according to Gulf News. The paper says that first offenders are usually given a warning (and their products are confiscated and destroyed), but repeat offenders are subject to large fines.

    Travelers to the UAE can have their vaping devices and e-liquid seized at airports too.

    “We are looking into their cases to check whether this is their first offence, or if they were caught previously selling these banned goods. If they have been warned before, they can face a fine of up to Dh500,000,” PHSD director Redha Salman said. The prohibition includes not just sales, but possession and use too. Travelers to the UAE can have their vaping devices and e-liquid seized at airports too.

    After considering a loosening of the law in 2015, the UAE Health and Prevention Ministry reversed course in 2016 and left the ban in place, probably in order to please the World Health Organization (WHO), whose tobacco control arm the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) discourages its member countries from promoting low-risk nicotine alternatives.

    Dubai is the largest of the seven UAE emirates, which are located on the Persian Gulf, between Oman and Saudi Arabia. Oil-rich Dubai has a population of just under three million, and is one of the most expensive places to live in the world.

    Jim McDonald
    Smokers created vaping without any help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and vapers have the right to keep innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I recently joined the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy