10 Weird Product Bans Around The World Source: Huffington Post

The world can be a really strange and mysterious place, especially when you find out which countries banned what products. Some of these bans might strike you as being completely ridiculous, which many of them are; however, that doesn’t change the fact that this is the law in another part of the world. Fortunately, in some countries, these bans don’t last; however, in many other places, they do. It really depends on the country and the ban. We know we would miss some of these products if the government were to prohibit them. Here is our list of the 10 most ridiculous bans that are currently in effect.

10. Singapore – Chewing Gum

In Singapore, there is a ban on importing chewing gum. Since 2004, only chewing gum with therapeutic value has been allowed in the country. No one can buy it directly – you need a prescription from a doctor. There’s also a $500 fine for anyone who is caught spitting their gum out on the streets.

The ban was put into effect in 1992 by prime minster Goh Chok Tong. People had been disposing of gum in mailboxes, inside keyholes, on lift buttons and had been leaving it on the ground, in stairways and on pavement, which was causing maintenance problems. When MRT trains were introduced in Singapore, the problem got even worse. People began sticking gum on door censors, which prevented the doors from working properly and disrupted the train’s services. These incidents were costly and it was nearly impossible to apprehend the people doing it, so they banned the other culprit – the gum. Source:

9. Saudi Arabia – Valentine’s Day

Celebrating Valentine’s Day in Saudi Arabia is considered a sin. Before February 14, officials with the conservative Muslim kingdom’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice demand that shops remove red roses, red wrapping paper, gift boxes and teddy bears. They even raid stores the day before and seize any and all symbols of love.

Saudi Arabia isn’t the only country that views the celebration of Valentine’s Day as a sin. Pakistan and Malaysia have also banned the holiday.’s_Day Source: Wikipedia

8. China – Certain Video Games

Video games that contain drugs, sexual themes, blood or depictions of organized crime are banned in China. Games that defame the Chinese government are usually banned from sale as well. Many studios will edit the content of their games to conform to the Chinese government’s standards because they have such a large market. Some games that are banned include Battlefield 4, Command & Conquer Generals, Football Manager 2005, Hearts of Iron and I.G.I.-2: Covert Strike.

Home gaming consoles were banned in China from 2000 to 2013; however, now they allow Xbox and PlayStation and other next generation consoles. Source:

7. Bhutan – Tobacco Products

In 2004, Bhutan banned the sale of all tobacco products. Smoking in public places became illegal as of 2005. According to law, any individual found selling tobacco can face imprisonment for a period of three to five years. Source:

6. Japan – Most Types Of Guns

In postwar Japan, gun control laws are strict. According to the country’s weapons law, “No one shall possess a firearm or firearms or a sword or swords.” Very few exceptions are allowed and there are strict penalties for any violations. Japanese citizens are allowed to possess firearms for hunting and sport shooting, but they must go through a lengthy process to get a license.

Because of this, there are practically no shooting-related deaths in the country. Source: Wikipedia

5. Canada – Baby Walkers

On April 7, 2004, Canada banned the sale, importation and advertisement of baby walkers. Owners of baby walkers could face fines of up $100,000 if they are caught ignoring the ban or face up to six months in jail. The ban also includes second hand baby walkers, such as those sold at yard sales or flea markets.

According to Canada’s Health Minister at the time, Pierre Pettigrew, baby walkers aren’t that safe. Children have fallen down stairs while in them and have been able to reach dangerous items as well. Researchers estimated that a third of babies using baby walkers would be injured. Source:

4. United States – Caffeinated Alcoholic Energy Drinks

As of November 10, 2010, caffeinated alcoholic energy drinks, like Four Loko, have been banned in Washington and Michigan following an incident where college students were hospitalized after consuming several cans. Utah never permitted the sale of these drinks and, as of December 3, 2010, they will no longer be delivered to Oklahoma. Delivery to retailers has also been suspended in New York State. Source:

3. Iran – Ponytails

In 2010, the Iranian government issued a style guide for men’s hairstyles. Western hairstyles like ponytails, mullets and elaborate spikes were all banned. The cultural minister provided a list of appropriate hairstyles that were “inspired by Iranians’ complexion, culture and religion, and Islamic law.” Several barbershops that were providing western style haircuts were shut down and penalized. Source:

2. North Korea – Blue Jeans

Jeans have been banned in North Korea for years because they are considered a symbol of American imperialism. In 2005, Kim Jung-Il’s regime reportedly urged women to stop wearing pants, arguing that Western clothing dampened North Korean’s national spirit and blurred their national pride. Source:

1. Denmark – Ovaltine, Marmite and Vegemite

In May 2011, Ovaltine, Marmite and Vegemite were all banned in Denmark because food authorities have never been able to determine that these foods are a rich source of vitamin B and folate. The Danish country is notoriously picky about foods that are fortified with vitamins. Specific protocol need to be followed, which includes submitting an application. Source: Huffington Post
Cate Willikers

Cate Willikers