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Vaping bill will smoke the economy, not spark it


Vaping bill will smoke the economy, not spark it

The proposed law is likely to slow industry growth and kill the potential for job creation

Asanda Gcoyi

Vaping has grown exponentially in SA since 2010 to become one of the fastest-growing industries. Though still a small portion of the overall nicotine market, vaping products hold the potential to vastly contribute to job creation SA’s antismoking agenda.

Recently, the Vapour Products Association of SA (VPASA) commissioned NKC African Economics to conduct a study on the economic contribution of the vaping industry to SA’s economy. This was an update of a study conducted in 2018 by Canback EIU which projected that the industry would generate 10,000 direct jobs between 2017 and 2027.

It is estimated there are more than 350,000 users of vape products in the country. This compares with estimates of 9-million smokers on the lower end to 11-million on the upper end. These are all potential consumers of vaping products. According to NKC’s findings: “(C)ounting direct, indirect, and induced channels of impact, the vaping industry supported an estimated R2.5 billion gross value-added contribution to SA’s GDP in 2019, equivalent to 2.6% of agricultural sector GDP.” This is a sizeable contribution by a “small” industry that barely existed 10 years ago...

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