If you’re a vaper heading out to Russia for the World Cup this Summer, relax, you’ll be greeted by vaping laws that are some of the most relaxed in the world!

England and Russia might be on opposite sides of a deepening political divide between East and West, but vapers travelling to see the national side stumble through the group stage then go out to Iceland or some other international footballing heavyweight in the last 16 needn’t be worried - when it comes to vaping at least!

Russian Minister of Industry and Commerce, Denis Manturov, has recently put his support behind e-cigarettes, and most importantly he and the Moscow government have made the crucial distinction between e-cigarettes and combustible tobacco products. This means that they will be taxed at different rates and vaping products will be considerably cheaper than their tobacco counterparts.

He hopes that this style of regulation will “encourage smokers to switch from conventional tobacco to the new devices, and not the other way round.”

This pragmatic approach from the State makes sense when you consider that Russia has some of the highest numbers of smokers per capita in the world. In 2016 the World Health Organisation stated that 49.8% of Russian men were smokers! That’s a whole lot of health problems and burdens on the State I reckon. These guys aren’t stupid!

With many countries around the world now taking an increasingly hardline view on vaping, like Australia for instance (see our Vaping in Austrailia blog), vapers could be forgiven for feeling more than a little persecuted at the moment. Add an underachieving football team into the mix and it could be a difficult Summer! And if you’re in Thailand or Singapore, forget about it. Those geniuses have decided to issue total vaping bans and can even issue you with jail-time should you fail to comply. Even carrying a vape through airport security could get you a hefty fine and the confiscation of your vaping device and supplies!

But not if you’re vaping in Russia. The World Cup takes place across 1800 miles of territory, from the Baltic Coast to the base of the Ural Mountains and despite a general smoking ban that’s been in place since 2014 in most public places, vaping is unaffected. That’s right folks, you can vape away to your heart’s content. Just remember your vaping etiquette - don’t blow vape in people’s faces, be considerate - and don’t vape near a school - that is banned!

If you’re English and a football fan, you’ve always needed a sense of humour, even a taste for the absurd. But who knows, maybe this year is the Big One? In just over 50 days it all kicks off in Moscow. Harry Kane will be setting the tournament alight with ten goals in the group stage alone and England will be smashing Ronaldo’s Portugal and Messi’s Argentina all over the pitch come the knockout rounds. From there it’s just a quick hop to the final where, of course, we’ll win, loudly applauded by Vladimir Putin. Especially if it’s penalties. And doubly so against the Germans!

Yeah, we’ve all got to dream. And when we don’t dream, we vape… That’s a pleasure considerably more consistent than the Three Lions.

But go on boys, prove me wrong! And COME ON ENGLAND!

See you on the plane,

Your friends at UKECS.