Oman Bans the Sale of Electronic Cigarettes

concerned. But it is rare to come across news that one country has banned e-cigs altogether.

While the news may be surprising on the surface, you may not be too shocked to hear that Oman is the country to have done this. The country is ruled by Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said. Basically speaking, if he doesn’t want something to happen, it doesn’t happen.

This is why people living in Oman are now in the strange position of being able to buy cigarettes legally, while adhering to a complete ban on electronic cigarettes. According to news reports, the ban was brought in by the Public Authority for Consumer Protection. This is somewhat ironic, since cigarettes and cigars are easily available and perfectly legal to buy in Oman. Their reason for banning electronic cigarettes amounts to this: “… there is no scientific proof that e-cigarettes help cure addiction or are a better alternative…”

Hmm. And yet they freely allow the sale of cigarettes, which we all know are particularly harmful to health. So this cannot simply be a question of enacting a rule with the best interests of the people of Oman at heart.

Sadly, those wishing to give up smoking must go it alone in trying to do so in this part of the world. The banning of e-cigarettes is about as likely to be overturned as the availability of real cigarettes.

To those of us living in Western countries, a law like this seems bizarre. Of course, life is very different in Oman. Power is ultimately held by the Sultan, and this means his wishes shall be followed.

So if you have started the New Year with a switch to e-cigs to help you quit smoking, be thankful you live in the West, where you can do this. It’s fair to assume that quitting in Oman is far more difficult than it really needs to be. While the laws in the UK and beyond regarding e-cigs are being debated all the time, we should at least be thankful they haven’t been banned altogether, as they have here. Freedom of choice is something we tend to take for granted, purely because we have it all the time.

If you lived in Oman, you wouldn’t even be able to consider making the switch.