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South African Vapor Advocacy Group Opposes New Law

South African Vapor Advocacy Group Opposes New Law

 

South African Vapor Advocacy Group Opposes New Law
All over the world, governments are in the process of developing comprehensive vapor regulations. The extent of these newly-crafted laws has ranged from complete prohibition to vapor products being actively endorsed by governments looking to help ex-smokers quit combustible cigarettes. In South Africa, lawmakers are debating whether to implement a law similar to the “Deeming Rule” which would treat vapor products as no different than tobacco products.

The Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill was recently published, and the advocacy group Vapor Product Association (VPA) offered immediate opposition to the bill, suggesting that vapor be included instead as part of the country’s health agenda, according to Business Live.

“The measures proposed will in effect make it harder for a consumer to vape in SA than it is to smoke. Ultimately, this will halt current smokers and reverse existing vapers from starting or continuing the use of a scientifically proven harm-reduced product,” VPA said in a statement.

VPA Director Kabir Kaleechurn argues that opposition to these new regulations is a much larger issue. By supporting laws that separate vapor products from tobacco products, smokers would be more likely to switch from combustible cigarettes to vapor products and benefit overall.

“Should all smokers move to harm-reduced vaping products, the impact is bound to be extremely positive from a non-communicable diseases point of view. This has proved to be the case in the US, UK, Germany, France and other members of the EU,” said Kaleenchurn.


If the VPA's proposals get a serious look, they would include common-sense regulations that vapers generally support. This includes prohibiting manufacturers from selling products in vending machines, using plain packaging, and adding a minimum age of 18 for sales of all vapor products.


Kaleenchurn’s statement calling for vapor to be part of the country’s health agenda is similar to what has happened in the U.K. There, the National Health Service and Parliament have encouraged smokers to quit using vapor products. If this bill passes, however, South Africa would swing in a similar regulatory direction as the United States, where laws like the Deeming Rule would treat vapor and tobacco products as the same.

These seem to be the next lines that are going to be drawn as vapor products grow as industries around the world. Countries can model their regulations by looking to the United States, which is to treat it similar to tobacco products or to look at U.K.’s model which encourages, through institutional means, the use of vapor as a way to kick smoking. It’s not clear which direction South Africa will turn, but we’ll keep an eye out as more news develops.  

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