Uzbekistan Proposes Ban on E-Cigarettes

Uzbekistan is drafting a law banning the import, sale and production of electronic cigarettes and tobacco heating systems. The bill has been published on the portal and its discussion will last until April 18, The Times of Central Asia has learned.

The draft law mentions that over the past seven years, “modern” or “innovative” types of nicotine and tobacco products have appeared in Uzbekistan. The result is a dramatic increase in the number of smokers — especially among children and young adults.

According to an explanatory addendum to the bill, interest in e-cigarettes is skyrocketing among high school students. The number of devices seized from students during raids in schools and public places has increased every year since the government has been keeping track. There were six cases in 2019, 27 in 2020, 31 in 2021, 856 in 2022, and 1,040 in 2023.

Among the 18-29 year old population, the use of tobacco heating systems is more than 2.5 times higher than in the 30-69 year old population. Unless action is taken, the bill states that one in five young people will suffer from nicotine addiction in the future.

“This law prohibits the circulation of electronic nicotine delivery systems, liquids for them, and electronic cigarettes on the territory of the republic,” the bill says. Once passed, Uzbek e-cigarette smokers will face heavy fines and criminal liability for breaking the new law.


Times of Central Asia