Vaping Black Market: Oman Banned Sales Yet Vapers Keep Vaping

The Arab monarchy prohibits e-cig sales, but illegal imports keep the market alive

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Muscat, Oman

Selling e-cigarettes or vapor products has been illegal in Oman since last December, but there is a brisk black market, fuelled by products brought into the country by travelers and internet purchases.

Oman is a monarchy with a population of 3.6 million on the Arabian Peninsula. It borders Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates, and boasts a long Persian Gulf coastline.

Five minutes of internet searching was all it took to find connections to buy vape supplies in the country.

While vaping itself is legal, trade in vapor products is prohibited, according to the Times of Oman. The fine for illegally importing the products, or selling them in Oman, is $500 Omani Rial, about equal to $2,300. The fine is doubled for repeat offenses.

According to the Times story, the government is planning a study of how many Omanis vape. The answer is probably more than they think. Five minutes of internet searching was all it took to find connections to buy vape supplies in the country. And it’s likely that anyone fluent in Arabic would find even more resources.

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