Last updated: December 8, 2020
Sale of e-cigarettes
Supreme Decree No. 38621 dated 11/7/1440 AH (March 18, 2019), cited in the Saudi Food & Drug Authority Controls and Requirements for Electronic Smoking Devices, allows the sale of e-cigarettes provided that they meet certain criteria, including, but not limited to, specific device and packaging requirements.
Use in indoor public places, workplaces, and public transport
The use of e-cigarettes is prohibited where smoking is prohibited, which includes most indoor public places and workplaces. Smoking is allowed in designated smoking rooms in bars, nightclubs, stadiums, casinos, and shops.
Advertising and promotion (excluding point of sale product display)
There is no law addressing e-cigarette advertising and promotion; therefore, advertising and promotion of e-cigarettes are allowed.
Point of sale product display
The law does not address the display of e-cigarettes at the point of sale; therefore, point-of-sale product display is allowed.
Sale of e-cigarettes via the internet
The law does not address internet sales of e-cigarettes. Therefore, the law is interpreted as allowing sales via the internet.
Flavors (other than tobacco flavor)
The law prohibits certain e-cigarette flavors, including cocoa, vanilla, coffee, tea, spices, candy, chewing gum, cola, and alcohol. The only permitted flavors are fruit flavors, menthol, or a mixture of these.
The law prohibits certain e-cigarette ingredients, including: vitamins or other additives which give the impression that the product has a healthy benefit; caffeine, taurine or other additives and stimulants associated with stimulating performance and vitality; color additives that add color to the emissions; substances with carcinogenic, genetic mutation-causing or toxin-producing properties before burning; and substances that are specified as illegal to trade in such as psychotropics, narcotics, hallucinogens and stimulants.
Health warnings on product packaging
The law requires that outer packaging display health warnings on the front and back sides covering 65% of the whole surface. The following health warning statement must be on every package: “The product contains nicotine which causes addiction.”
Under the SASO Technical Regulations, information on the label must be written in English and Arabic.
Other product packaging and labeling requirements
The law requires that unit packs of e-cigarette and retail containers include a leaflet containing information about instructions for use and storage, including the mechanism of opening the product and re-filling it.
The law prohibits the product packaging from containing any of the following:
- Promoting the product or encouraging its consumption through messages or implications regarding its characteristics, health effects, risks, or emissions.
- An implication that the product is less dangerous than other products, or that it aims to reduce the harmful effect of smoking.
- Any element or publication promoting the product or containing promotional offers.
Under the SASO Technical Regulations, packaging must also including warning labels regarding child safety.
Maximum nicotine concentration
The maximum concentration of nicotine in the e-liquid is 20 mg/ml.
The law includes a list of e-cigarette device requirements that include, but are not limited to, the devices are to be protected against breakage and be tightly sealed to prevent leakage. Further, the device must be designed to withstand the damage caused by children, so that it does not cause health risks to children, by placing markings to protect from children and setting appropriate mechanisms for opening and closing the containers.
In addition, the capacity of the internal cartridge must not exceed 2 ml, and the capacity of a refill container must not exceed 10 ml.
Manufacturer/importer disclosures and/or notification requirements
Manufacturers and importers must submit a declaration of conformity indicating that their product complies with the legal requirements. They must also obtain a national certificate of compliance for their products.