Healthplan Spain


Vaping In Spain: Navigating Trends, Regulations, And Health Implications Health Tips

As vaping gains momentum in Spain, echoing its rise in other European Union countries, the landscape of electronic cigarette use becomes increasingly nuanced. From the fundamental question of "What is vaping?" to the intricate web of regulations shaping the industry, and the ongoing exploration of its health implications, this comprehensive guide delves into the multifaceted realm of vaping in Spain.

In this article we will cover:-

  • An introduction to vaping
  • Motivations behind vaping
  • Vaping regulations in Spain
  • Where is vaping prohibited in Spain?
  • The popularity of vaping in Spain
  • Health implications of vaping
  • And more..

Let’s take a look.

What is vaping?

Vaping, short for vaporising, refers to the inhalation of vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device. Instead of traditional combustion, vaping devices heat a liquid solution, often containing nicotine, flavourings, and other chemicals, to create an aerosol or vapour that is then inhaled. These devices, commonly known as e-cigarettes or vape pens, have gained popularity as an alternative to traditional tobacco smoking.

Vaping is often perceived as a potentially less harmful option, as it eliminates the combustion of tobacco, which is a significant source of harmful substances in traditional cigarettes. However, the long-term health effects of vaping are still under scrutiny, and regulations surrounding these devices vary across different regions.

Why do people vape?

The reasons people turn to vaping are diverse and multifaceted. One of the primary motivations is the perception that vaping is a less harmful alternative to traditional smoking. Many individuals view vaping as a way to reduce exposure to harmful chemicals associated with combustible tobacco products. Additionally, the variety of flavours available in vaping liquids appeals to users, offering a wide range of taste options beyond the traditional tobacco experience.

The social aspect of vaping also plays a significant role. Vaping is often perceived as more socially acceptable in certain settings, as it produces a vapour that dissipates quickly and lacks the lingering smell of traditional cigarettes. This characteristic makes it more amenable for use in public spaces and social gatherings, where the odour and secondhand smoke associated with conventional smoking may be less desirable.

Furthermore, some individuals turn to vaping as a smoking cessation tool. E-cigarettes are marketed as aids to quit smoking, with proponents arguing that the gradual reduction of nicotine levels in vaping liquids can help users gradually wean themselves off traditional tobacco products.

The appeal of customisable devices and the "tech" aspect of vaping also contribute to its popularity among certain demographics. The market offers a wide array of vaping devices, ranging from sleek, pocket-sized options to more advanced and customisable models, allowing users to tailor their vaping experience to personal preferences.

It's essential to note that while many people turn to vaping for perceived health benefits or as a smoking cessation aid, concerns persist regarding the potential long-term health effects of inhaling vaping aerosols and the addictive nature of nicotine present in many vaping products. As vaping continues to evolve, ongoing research is crucial to understand its full impact on both individual health and public well-being.

What are the regulations on vaping in Spain?

In contrast to the UK, where parliamentary decisions govern vaping product regulations, Spain takes a different approach with its regulations outlined by Royal Decree 2023, bringing a distinct method to the process.

The regulations in Spain closely mirror those in the UK. While the UK follows the 'Tobacco and Related Products Regulations' (TRPR), Spain adheres to the TRPR's predecessor, the 'Tobacco Products Directive' (TPD), ensuring that only high-quality and safe vaping products are available for public consumption. 

The European Union legislation governing vaping products in Spain establishes specific guidelines:

1. Nicotine Content: E-liquids must not exceed 20 mg/ml of nicotine and cannot be marketed in bottles with volumes greater than 10ml. This restriction includes 0mg nicotine-free variants.

2. Tank Capacity: Vapes are prohibited from using tanks or cartridges with a capacity exceeding 2ml for e-liquid. Products with larger capacities, including disposable vapes with over 600 puffs, cannot be marketed.

3. Nicotine Warnings: Vaping products must include warnings about the presence of nicotine, discouraging use by non-smokers.

4. Packaging Information: The packaging must clearly display both the ingredients in decreasing order of concentration and the nicotine strength.

5. Minimum Age: The minimum age to purchase vapes in Spain is 18, ensuring that these products are only accessible to adults.

These stringent regulations aim to uphold product quality, safety, and transparency in the vaping industry. For further details, you can refer to the information provided here.

Where is vaping prohibited in Spain?

Similar to regulations in the UK, Spain allows vaping in various public and private spaces. However, the use of vaping products is restricted in the following locations:

1. Government Facilities: This includes public offices and entities dedicated to public law, such as courthouses.

2. Healthcare Facilities: Vaping is prohibited in hospitals and establishments providing sanitary services, such as pharmacies and clinics.

3. Educational Institutions: Vaping is not allowed in schools and educational/training centres, with the exception of those exclusively dedicated to adult education. In such places, vaping is permitted away from pavements and without obstructing access to educational areas.

4. Children's Playgrounds: Exclusive spaces designed for children's entertainment, like dedicated playgrounds, prohibit vaping. However, vaping is generally acceptable in large, open public parks with multi-purpose green spaces.

5. Public Transport: Vaping is not allowed on public transportation, including taxis, railways, boats, and air transport. While some private travel companies might permit vaping, it is advisable to check their policies beforehand.

Can vaping products be brought into Spain when travelling?

Yes, you can bring your vaping products including e-liquids with you when entering Spain, however, restrictions on liquid quantities remain in place until at least 2024.

How popular is vaping in Spain?

The popularity of vaping in Spain has been increasing just like other countries within the EU. It is thought that more than 500,000 people currently vape, joining the already 33% of the population that smoke traditional tobacco products.

What are the health implications of vaping?

The health implications of vaping remain a subject of ongoing research, and the long-term effects are not yet fully understood. However, several health concerns associated with vaping have been identified based on available studies. It's important to note that individual responses to vaping can vary, and the lack of long-term data means that some risks may become clearer over time. Here are some health implications associated with vaping:

1. Respiratory Health: Vaping involves inhaling aerosols, which can contain harmful substances such as volatile organic compounds, heavy metals, and ultrafine particles. Prolonged exposure to these substances may contribute to respiratory issues, including irritation, inflammation, and potential long-term damage to lung tissue.

2. Nicotine Addiction: Many vaping products contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance. Nicotine addiction is a significant concern, especially among youth who may be more susceptible to its addictive effects. Continued use of nicotine can lead to dependency and withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit.

3. Cardiovascular Effects: Nicotine can elevate heart rate and blood pressure, potentially increasing the risk of cardiovascular problems. While traditional cigarettes are known for their cardiovascular risks, the cardiovascular impact of long-term vaping is still under investigation.

4. Youth and Brain Development: The adolescent brain is particularly vulnerable to the effects of nicotine, and exposure during this developmental stage may have lasting consequences. Studies suggest that nicotine can interfere with cognitive function and may impact attention and memory in young users.

5. Popcorn Lung (Bronchiolitis Obliterans): Some vaping liquids contain diacetyl, a chemical linked to a condition known as "popcorn lung." This rare but serious lung disease is characterised by the scarring and narrowing of the airways, leading to coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

6. Unknown Long-Term Effects: Given the relatively recent emergence of vaping, the long-term health effects are not fully understood. Continued research is necessary to assess the potential risks associated with chronic use, including the development of respiratory diseases and other health issues.

It's crucial for individuals, especially young people and non-smokers, to be aware of the potential health risks associated with vaping. The best course of action is to make informed decisions based on current knowledge and consult with healthcare professionals if there are concerns about personal health and well-being. Additionally, regulatory measures are continuously evolving to address the challenges posed by vaping, emphasising the need for ongoing research and public health initiatives.

This article was brought to you by HealthPlan, experts in expat health insurance in Spain.


The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is important to consult with a qualified healthcare professional for personalised guidance regarding your specific health situation. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read in this article. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency services immediately. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Reliance on the information in this article is solely at your own risk.