Fifa World Cup 2022 is about to kick off in Qatar but e-liquid and e-cig users need to be careful as the nation’s ban extends beyond the terraces.
Fifa Qatar’s World Cup organisers are promising a festival of football from 30th November to 18th December. Are you planning to visit to enjoy the atmosphere or catch a couple of games? UK e-liquid and e-cig-using football fans need to watch out as the country has a very strict anti-vaping stance and the punishment for breaching Qatar’s rules can be very harsh.
What is Qatar saying about vaping at the World Cup?
Put simply, the use of electronic cigarettes and juice at football matches is completely banned because the country wishes to follow the advice given to it by FIFA (football’s international governing body) and the World Health Organisation.
What did the World Health Organisation tell Qatar?
- Tobacco and sports do not mix.
- Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
- Prohibit tobacco consumption and exposure to second-hand smoke.
- Protect future generations from preventable death and disease caused by tobacco.
- Implement the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to save lives.
- Health and healthy living is everyone’s right.
So, just smoking then – that’s alright, isn’t it?
No. The World Health Organisation considers electronic cigarettes to be tobacco products despite them not containing any tobacco, so they advised Qatar to ban vaping from stadia throughout the event.
It said: “Footballs won’t be the only things kicked in Qatar at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. Tobacco and e-cigarettes will also be kicked out of Doha’s eight stadiums, ensuring fans can enjoy smoke-free air while sitting in their seats watching world football’s biggest event.
“Implementing tobacco and smoke-free measures at the FIFA World Cup™ has been the goal of a unique partnership between FIFA, the Government of Qatar and the World Health Organisation to make the tournament healthy and safe.”
So this is what Qatar is doing?
Yes and no. In truth, despite them making a big thing about banning vaping from matches means very little because e-cigs have been banned in Qatar since 2014.
Is vaping completely banned in Qatar?
The GSTHR Database states: “The sale, distribution and advertising of e-cigarettes in Qatar is prohibited, as is possession and use”.
It continues: “All border agencies had been instructed not to allow e-cigarettes into Qatar, also stating that anyone caught in possession of or importing a vaping device will face disciplinary action”.
But I could take my vape kit with me and stealth vape?
In the best-case scenario, you will have your kit confiscated at the airport when you land.
Worst case scenario, Qatar has contracted an army of tobacco inspectors to keep an eye out for anyone attempting to use an electronic nicotine product. They, in conjunction with the swathes of stewards and FIFA officials, have been given training in spotting vapes and vapers.
Is there a punishment for vaping?
Fines of up to about £2,300 will be placed on anyone having an electronic cigarette on them – and there is the distinct possibility of a three-month prison sentence.
Indeed. Maybe it would be best to embrace our beautiful British weather instead, make a pot of tea and enjoy a vape in front of the match on television.