The warning is being issued by UK online retailer Vape Club, as a large number of UK vapers are also football fans. Given the progressive vape laws in the UK, many of these travelling vapers may mistakenly assume that regulations elsewhere are as permissive.
Qatar’s vape ban
In Qatar, using and importing vaping products has been banned since 2014. In 2016, head of the Non-Communicable Disease Department at the Ministry of Public Health Dr Kholood al-Mutawaa, had stated, “The e-cigarette was banned in Qatar according to a ministry order in 2014. We have instructed all supermarkets, pharmacies and other outlets not to sell it. We have also communicated with the customs department at the airport, seaport and the land border not to allow e-cigarettes into Qatar.”
“We have instructed all supermarkets, pharmacies and other outlets not to sell it. We have also communicated with the customs department at the airport, seaport and at the borders not to allow e-cigarettes into Qatar. People can’t bring it to the country or order it from other countries. Others can’t send it to the country either. Anyone who is in possession of e-cigarettes may be charged with appropriate action.”
Director of Vape Club, Dan Marchant, highlighted that because of the UK’s progressive attitude towards vaping, UK nationals are perhaps more likely than others to unknowingly get in trouble. “Because the UK has such a progressive attitude towards harm reduction and recognises the huge role vaping has to play in achieving a smokefree future, we tend to forget that there are many other countries around the world who are so far behind us. How any country can ban vaping over tobacco use is beyond me, and seems completely anti-science and anti-public health.
“I just hope that quitters don’t find themselves turning back to cigarettes in Qatar. There’s a real danger of this. Being deprived of their vapes as a source of nicotine to replace a harmful tobacco product could easily push people back to cigarettes while in Qatar. Once this happens, it could consign the smoker back to months or years of cigarette use before being able to quit again.”