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Muscat, Oman
September 5, 2016
1 min to read

Vaping Black Market: Oman Banned Sales Yet Vapers Keep Vaping

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Jim McDonald

Selling e-cigarettes or vapor products has been illegal in Oman since a vape ban was instituted 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."

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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.

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Jim McDonald

Vaping since: 12 years

Favorite products:

Favorite flavors: RY4-style tobaccos, fruits

Expertise in: Political and legal challenges, tobacco control haters, moral panics

Jim McDonald

Smokers created vaping without help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and I believe vapers have the right to continue 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’m a member of the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy

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