Vaping Prohibited at World Cup 2022 in Qatar

2022-11-22

The FIFA World Cup 2022 begins Nov. 20 in Qatar. Vapers attending the event should be aware of heavy fines for anyone caught vaping inside any venue.

The strengthened regulation to make venues safe for fans is part of a unique collaboration between FIFA, WHO and the Ministry of Public Health, Qatar, designed to harness the power of football to protect and promote health for all.

This, in turn, will create a blueprint for protecting and promoting health at mass gatherings which can then be shared with other sports organizations., according to the WHO.   

“Each of the three partners have long promoted effective tobacco control measures, while also raising awareness around tobacco health hazards,” according to Rayana Bou Haka, a WHO representative to Qatar. “They have also backed the implementation of a tobacco-free policy at FIFA sporting events. Still, evidence shows that successful tobacco-free mega sporting events depend on effective communication and enforcement of policies.”

Vapers will have to leave their e-cigarettes at home for the tournament, as it’s illegal to import, sell or purchase them. Anyone caught with one could be fined up to Riyals10,000 ($2,747) or three months in prison.

Riot Labs CEO Ben Johnson said his company will fines for any vapers caught vaping in Qatar.

“Obviously attending a major football tournament is an incredible life experience for fans but treating Qatar like the beer garden at the local British boozer could land fans in hot water – even for just vaping,” he said. “”Socializing, alcohol, partying, sex – traditionally some of football fans’ favorite escapades – are all examples of major triggers for smoking tobacco and we hope our fines repayment scheme encourages fans to stick to e-cigarettes.”

Adult consumers might not be able to take their vape with them, but they can take nicotine pouches. Pouches are legal in the country.

Qatar will be assigning a team of 80 tobacco inspectors to support FIFA volunteers and security staff in enforcing the FIFA Event Policy on Tobacco during the FIFA World Cup, which runs from Nov. 21 (Nov. 20 EST) to Dec. 18.

“Qatar has been a frontrunner in tobacco control in the region,” said Kholoud Ateeq K M Al-Motawaa, head of noncommunicable disease for Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health. “For the FIFA World Cup, tobacco control measures have been developed for inside and outside stadiums, especially in public places, while tobacco-free environments in fan zones will be rigorously enforced where supporters without tickets can watch games on large screens surrounded by smoke-free air.”