The sale of electronic cigarettes containing nicotine is illegal in Australia. Therefore, customs officials can seize any shipment of e-cigarettes into Australia.
In the United Kingdom, the use of e-cigarettes is legal and unrestricted by government authorities. This may explain why the UK already has a company that makes its own brand of e-cigarettes, while other jurisdictions including Canada and the United States are bogged down in bureaucratic red tape and government posturing.
On March 27, Health Canada issued a statement informing Canadians that “Persons importing, advertising or selling electronic cigarette products in Canada must stop doing so immediately.” In Canada, electronic smoking products are governed by the Food and Drugs Act and therefore require federal government approval.
Back in March, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) blocked 17 shipments of imported electronic cigarettes due to concerns about abuse and addiction to e-cigarette nicotine delivery systems.
The FDA issued a press release on July 22 reporting that trace amounts of tobacco-specific carcinogens plus a chemical used in antifreeze were found in a study of 2 e-cigarette brands. The press release went on to discourage the use of electronic cigarettes and repeated concerns that electronic cigarettes lacked health warnings, particularly to younger adults.