Public Vaping To Be Banned In South Africa

Public Vaping To Be Banned In South Africa

Vapers in South Africa will be banned from using e-cigarettes in public if the government's proposed Tobacco Draft Bill is passed.

The country's Department of Health is waging war on cigarettes with a set of new laws - and vaping is going to be hit with the same legalities.

The proposed bill sets out stricter laws on the recreational habit including more graphic packaging, banning smoking in public places and the removal of all signage on cigarette packaging.

The CEO of the Vapour Product Association of South Africa (VPA), Zodwa Velleman, has confirmed electronic cigarettes are currently included for the proposed new laws.

The VPA is now urging national government to adjust the bill to treat vapes and tobacco cigarettes as two separate concepts, instead of lumping them into one category.

"The industry is not saying we don't want regulation, we need regulations as an industry even though we have our own self regulation that ensures we only deal with customers that are 18-years-old and above", said Velleman.

A proposal of adjustments to the proposed tobacco law has now been sent to the government by the VPA in the hope that changes are introduced before it is passed.

allows users to choose the amount of nicotine which they want to consume while vaping. Thus ranges from 0.01mg to 18mg.

A document to make further adjustments to the proposed tobacco laws has been sent government by the VPA.

Health professionals and pro vapers are now concerned the new laws will see smokers be deprived of e-cigarettes and the benefits they offer, which is a proven cigarette cessation method.

A research fellow and cardiologist, who has published over 50 studies and articles on smoking, tobacco harm and e-cigarettes, Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos, has now written to the South African officials expressing his concern about many of the proposals included in the bill.

He said in a statement: "In brief, the bill makes no differentiation between e-cigarettes and combustible tobacco cigarettes. In fact, they define use of e-cigarettes (i.e. vaping) as smoking. As a result they apply the same restrictions in marketing, advertisement and enclosed public place ban as smoking."

There is also an attempt to classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products due to nicotine being extracted from tobacco... This decision is unreasonable and that has no scientific basis.

He added: Additionally, the bill raises the possibility of introducing health warning messages in the packaging of e-cigarettes and may even implement plain packaging.

All these proposals will result in misinformation and misconceptions among smokers about e-cigarettes, and will discourage and prevent them from switching to a substantially less harmful alternative. In my comment, I provide a short overview on the current knowledge about e-cigarettes and I present the potential unintended public health consequences of some of the proposals.

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