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North Korea


Brief Overview

As of a 2014 country report on North Korea by the World Health Organization there are currently no bans or regulations on e-cigarettes.

While North Korea does not specifically regulate e-cigarettes. As e-cigarettes are largely unheard of in North Korea (even though Kim Jong-Un invented them) they may be mistaken for a weapon, so caution is advised even though they are technically allowed.

While North Korea does not regulate e-cigarettes, they do not appear to take issue with them either. A story published by the daily mail on the 12th of December 2016 shows:

“A British tourist captured the total amazement of a North Korean border railway guard after he smoked an e-cigarette for the first time.

Del Dinsdale, 34, was travelling from China into the communist country when his bags were searched by a guard. Initially the official thought the e-cig was a ‘bomb’ and when Mr Dinsdale told him it was an e-cigarette, he seemed baffled and wanted to try it.

Mr Dinsdale said: ‘He thought it was an illegal item being taken into his country but I showed him what it was and he was delighted.’

Strict rules in the secretive country means tourists are usually forbidden from taking photos of officials – especially in a relaxed setting but Mr Dinsdale said the guard at the crossing into Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was so baffled by his vape cigarette that he happily posed for photos.

‘He began to smoke it with such delight as he had never seen an electric cigarette in his life.

‘He then began to show all the other border guards and asked if I could give him it.’

‘I explained he would not be able to buy the liquids in his country so he gave it back and presented me with some North Korean cigarettes.’”

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All Laws & Regulations

North Korea became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on July 26, 2005.

Review Status

This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our staff. No in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts reviewed our analysis.

Relevant Links & Articles

Tobacco Control Laws:

World Health Organization Tobacco Report:

Tobacco Atlas Information:

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