The mantra “ignorance of the law excuses no one” applies everywhere you go, so it’s always important to know the local vaping and e-cigarette laws when you travel. Most African countries haven’t yet instituted the type of vaping regulations that are popping up in other parts of the world, but that doesn’t mean you’re free to vape everywhere. This guide will cover the limited information that is available about electronic cigarettes in Africa.
The Laws on Vaping in Africa
Below is the most up-to-date information about vaping regulations in each region of Africa.
- Algeria: Uncertain
- Egypt: E cigarettes are legal, but vaping in public is not.
- Libya: Uncertain.
- Morocco: No regulations exist as of mid-2017, and reports from Vaping Post indicate that the importation of e-cigs and e-liquids is allowed. You may find vape shops in major cities. Vaping in public also appears to be tolerated.
- Sudan: Uncertain.
- Tunisia: Uncertain.
- Western Sahara: Uncertain.
- South Africa: While e-cigs are legal, e-liquids with nicotine are prohibited. Nonetheless, vapers online have reported that such e-liquids are easy to purchase, but keep in mind that they are still technically illegal.
- Namibia: E cigarettes are legal.
- Lesotho: Vaping is permitted in designated smoking areas.
- Botswana: E cigarettes are legal.
- Swaziland: Vaping is permitted in designated smoking areas.
- Mozambique: E cigarettes are legal and regulated as tobacco products.
- Madagascar: E cigarettess are regulated as tobacco products, and vaping is allowed in designated smoking areas.
- Malawi: Uncertain.
- Mauritius: E cigarettess are legal, but international vapers have noted that they are hard to find, so bring your own supplies or import them.
- Zambia: Vaping is allowed in designated smoking areas.
- Zimbabwe: E cigarettess are legal, but neither smoking nor vaping are allowed in public.
- Djibouti: Uncertain.
- Eritrea: Unclear.
- Ethiopia: E cigarettess are legal, but neither smoking nor vaping are allowed in public.
- Kenya: E cigarettes are legal.
- Rwanda: Uncertain.
- Somalia: Uncertain.
- Tanzania: Uncertain.
- Uganda: E cigarettess have been banned since 2016.
- Benin: E cigarettes are legal.
- Burkina Faso: Uncertain.
- Gambia: Uncertain.
- Ghana: Vaping is allowed in designated smoking areas.
- Guinea: Uncertain.
- Guinea-Bissau: Uncertain.
- Liberia: Uncertain.
- Mali: Uncertain.
- Mauritania: Uncertain.
- Niger: Uncertain.
- Nigeria: Uncertain, but the World Health Organization reports that public tobacco use has been banned.
- Senegal: E cigarettess are legal.
- Sierra Leone: Vaping is allowed in designated smoking areas.
- Togo: Vaping and smoking are banned in public.
- Angola: E cigarettes are legal.
- Burundi: E cigarettess are legal.
- Cameroon: E cigarettes are legal.
- Central African Republic: Uncertain.
- Chad: Vaping is legal in designated smoking areas.
- Congo: E cigarettess are legal.
- Equatorial Guinea: Uncertain.
- Gabon: Vaping is legal in designated smoking areas.
Keep in mind that laws are always changing, so do as much research as possible before you go abroad. For example, if South African health officials have their way, the country could soon join the list of places where e-cigs are treated as tobacco products. South African Health Minister Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi stated in an interview, “Some e-cigarettes have nicotine, which means they are just as bad as cigarettes,” even though numerous studies suggest that e-cigarette vapor is safer than tobacco cigarette smoke.
There may be differences in how laws are enforced in each region within a country, but if you’re ever unsure whether or not it’s OK to be vaping in Africa, always err on the side of caution. You likely won’t have to worry about anyone seizing your e-cig stash in Africa, but vaping in the wrong place could come with harsh consequences.