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Is vaping banned in Korea?


Vaping has gained immense popularity in recent years as people are looking for alternatives to smoking tobacco. However, different countries have different regulations on vaping. This article will focus on exploring whether vaping is banned in Korea, a country known for its strict laws and regulations.

The Legal Status of Vaping in Korea

In 2016, South Korea introduced a law that banned the sale and importation of e-cigarettes and other electronic smoking devices. The law also banned the usage of these devices in public places. However, the law did not criminalize possession or usage of the products.

Penalties for Violating Vaping Laws in Korea

Violators of the vaping laws in Korea are subject to fines of up to KRW 3 million (USD 2,500) for importing or selling e-cigarettes. Individuals caught using e-cigarettes in public are subject to fines of up to KRW 100,000 (USD 85).

The Reason Behind the Ban

The Korean government has taken a strong stance against vaping due to concerns about the potential health risks associated with these products. Additionally, there are concerns that e-cigarettes may lead to nicotine addiction and serve as a gateway to traditional tobacco smoking.

Public Opinion on Vaping in Korea

Public opinion on vaping in Korea is divided. While some people view it as a safer alternative to smoking tobacco, others believe that it is just as harmful and should be banned altogether. The government’s ban has received mixed reactions from the public.

The Rise of Alternative Products in Korea

Despite the ban on e-cigarettes, there has been a rise in alternative products such as heat-not-burn tobacco products in Korea. These products are seen as a compromise between traditional tobacco smoking and vaping.

The Effect of Vaping Ban on the Market

The vaping ban in Korea has had a significant impact on the market, with many e-cigarette companies leaving the country. However, this has also opened up opportunities for alternative products such as heat-not-burn tobacco products.

Enforcement of the Vaping Ban

Enforcement of the vaping ban in Korea is strict, with authorities conducting regular raids to confiscate e-cigarettes and other electronic smoking devices. The government has also launched public awareness campaigns to discourage people from using these products.

The Future of Vaping in Korea

It is unlikely that the Korean government will lift the ban on e-cigarettes anytime soon. However, there may be room for compromise in the future, such as allowing e-cigarettes to be sold under strict regulations.

The Global Trend on Vaping Regulations

Korea is not alone in its strict regulations on vaping. Many countries around the world have implemented similar bans or restrictions on e-cigarettes and other electronic smoking devices.

The Impact of Vaping on Health

The long-term health effects of vaping are still unclear, but studies have shown that it can have negative effects on lung function and increase the risk of heart disease. Additionally, nicotine addiction can have serious consequences for health.


In conclusion, vaping is currently banned in Korea due to concerns about its potential health risks and its potential as a gateway to tobacco smoking. While public opinion on vaping is divided, the government’s ban remains in place with strict penalties for violators. The rise of alternative products such as heat-not-burn tobacco products may offer a compromise between traditional smoking and vaping.

Are Vapes legal in Korea?

It is legal to bring your vape to Korea, and while opinions may vary, many people agree that E-juice is more costly in Korea, so some opt to bring their own supply.

Is vaping common in Korea?

E-cigarettes were first introduced to the South Korean market in 2007. Unlike other countries experiencing an increase in adolescent e-cigarette use, Korea has maintained a steady low rate. According to the 2015 KYRBWS report, only 4% of adolescents in Korea reported e-cigarette use.

Is vaping illegal in Seoul?

In South Korea, e-cigarettes that contain nicotine are considered tobacco products and are not allowed to be sold to minors under the age of 19.

Are Vapes banned in any country?

Vaping is prohibited in certain countries, where it is illegal to both sell and possess vaping products. These restrictions are most prevalent in Asia, the Middle East, and South America. Australia has a unique system where a prescription is required for vaping products, and importing unauthorized items can result in significant fines.

Can I take my vape to Japan?

Under Japanese law, electronic cigarettes that contain nicotine are considered medicinal products and are regulated by the pharmaceutical affairs law. When importing these products into Japan, customs clearance is limited to a maximum of 120 ml of liquid, which is the equivalent of a one-month dosage.

What can I not bring to Korea?

The list of banned items includes illegal drugs like opium, marijuana, and cocaine, as well as items made from animal parts such as handbags, wallets, stoles, and taxidermy. It also includes forms of payment like cashier’s checks, overdraft checks, and postal money orders. This is not an exhaustive list.

It is important to note that the ban on vaping in Korea does not extend to nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) such as nicotine gum, patches, and inhalers. These products have been approved by the Korean government and are available for purchase at pharmacies.

Despite the ban, some people in Korea continue to use e-cigarettes and other electronic smoking devices. This has led to concerns about the safety and quality of black market products, which may not meet safety standards or contain harmful chemicals.

The vaping industry in Korea has also faced criticism for marketing their products to minors through social media and other channels. The government has taken steps to crack down on these practices and has introduced measures to prevent minors from accessing e-cigarettes and other electronic smoking devices.

In conclusion, while the ban on vaping in Korea remains in place, it is a complex issue with differing opinions and perspectives. The government’s concerns about the potential health risks associated with e-cigarettes and electronic smoking devices cannot be ignored, but there is also a need to balance this with the rights of individuals who choose to use these products. It remains to be seen how the situation will evolve in the future, but one thing is clear – the debate around vaping in Korea is far from over.

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