What a fag this whole vaping hoo-hah is turning out to be
Should e-cigarettes be controlled by the same legislation as normal smokes? The vapers say a big no
If the government has its way, vape retailers will no longer be allowed to display their products in-store or sell them online.
The Department of Health has proposed tighter smoking laws with the hope that the Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill will force smokers to quit and non-smokers to not take up the habit .
But the vaping industry is opposed to e-cigarettes and cigarettes “being lumped in the same regulatory basket”. Marketed as the safer option to smoking, vaping devices emit varied doses of vaporised nicotine that is inhaled.Vapour Product Association of SA (VPA) chief executive Zodwa Velleman told health professionals, lawyers and industry experts at a conference in Johannesburg that including e-cigarettes, which do not contain tobacco, in the Bill was “unscientific and potentially devastating”.
“Vaping products must be regulated separately. International evidence shows that they are at least 95% less harmful (than cigarettes) based on current evidence. Countries that have embraced them, like the UK and the US, have seen their smoking rates plummet in recent years,” said Velleman.
“As it stands the bill will ban any form of marketing or communication with consumers and even prohibit retailers from showing their products in their own shops,” she said.
An economic impact study by Canbuck Consulting released at the conference showed that the vaping market in SA is worth more than R1bn and supports 4,000 jobs.
According to the research, the e-cigarette market is projected to more than triple in the next decade. But the VPA warned that growth would only happen if the government separated e-cigarettes and traditional tobacco products in the new bill.
“Taxing e-cigarettes at the same level as tobacco would significantly impact the category and could be detrimental to this category,” Velleman said.Neil Kirby, director of healthcare and life sciences practice at Werksmans Attorneys, said the bill contains certain definitions that may prove challenging to deal with legally.
“The definition of ‘smoke’ as it applies to ‘electronic delivery systems’ or vaping devices may not properly recognise the operation of an electronic delivery system insofar as the delivery of nicotine to the user is concerned,” he said.
Health department spokesperson Popo Maja told Times Select that not including e-cigarettes in the proposed legislation would have encouraged smoking, advertising, free sale of the products and indiscriminate use of vaping devices.
Savera Kalideen, executive director of the National Council Against Smoking, said e-cigarettes were not developed at the time SA’s smoking laws were introduced two decades ago.
“E-cigarettes have been misrepresented by the industry as harmless and healthier than combustible cigarettes but this hides the harm that they do cause. They will also carry health warnings and their use will be limited to the same spaces that combustible cigarettes are limited to.”
The deadline for public comment on the Bill is on Thursday August 9.