Iceland, it turns out, is the world’s first government to vote in a law specific to electronic cigarettes. The law will come into force on February 1st, 2019, after a long and difficult legal battle with lobby groups.
Since 2014, with no legislation in place, tobacco consumption fell a whopping 40% in Iceland, in inverse proportion to the growth of the electronic cigarette market. Among teens, the smoking rate is under 2%. When it comes to young adults (18-24 year-olds), there are twice as many vaping enthusiasts as there are traditional smokers. Dr. Karl Snæbjornsson indicated that most of former smokers broke the habit thanks to vaping. Furthermore, the number of people who still smoke and vape is steadily decreasing.
Legislation specific to vaping
With these facts in mind, Iceland’s government decided to adopt a law specific to vaping, with no ties to tobacco regulations. This will allow them to adjust legal requirements as the situation evolves. The law covers such aspects as advertising, which is now perfectly legal for vaping products. One can also note the lack of a volume limitation for the sale of e-liquids containing nicotine, and an age restriction.
One of the more negative aspects of this law for vaping enthusiasts will be focused on nicotine concentration, limited to 2%. This may pose a problem for smokers who need a stronger nicotine dosage to make the substitute product effective. On the other hand, this means all Iceland’s vapers may get into cloud chasing! When it comes to vaping in public spaces, application of the law will be determined on a case by case basis, informed by the needs of local business owners and residents.
Finally, the law stipulates that a 0.9% tax be applied to all vaping product sales, which will help to fund anti-smoking initiatives. This will help the Icelandic population gain increased lung power and a few additional years in life expectancy. According to Dr. Snæbjornsson, since 2014 it is estimated that 120 000 years have been added life expectancy rates in the country.