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Dubai" UAE will allow the sale of e-cigarettes and vaping devices from mid-April, the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA) said on Sunday.

According to a senior ESMA official, a new set of standards developed by the authority will come into effect from mid-April, legalising the sale and use of electronic smoking devices.

“ESMA aims to issue this standard to regulate and create awareness about the ingredients used in the products, in order to ensure no banned substances are mixed in these products, posing danger to public health,” said Abdullah Al Muaini, Director General of ESMA.

He said that the primary reason behind the move is the growing popularity of the unregulated products as they are readily available online.

He added that the new mandatory standard covers all electronic nicotine products, which are used as alternatives to traditional cigarettes, including electronic shisha, electronic cigarettes, electronic pipes, vaping devices as well as the liquid refills.

“These products include non-tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes [electronic shisha] and refill packages such as electronic liquids, and products that use tobacco as the plant where it is placed in an electronic device that heats the tobacco rolls and smoked through the device without a burning process of tobacco,” said Al Muaini.

While the sale of these products is banned in the UAE, the new regulation means manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers will now be allowed to sell these battery-powered products, provided they meet the new standards.

Similar to traditional cigarettes, the new standards also require the e-cigarettes to carry health warnings on the packages.