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08 June 2018

E-cigarette industry prepared to work closely with government on tobacco laws

SA's leading vaping body is keen to work with government on how e-cigarettes are regulated in the new tobacco laws.

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The Vaping Product Association of South Africa (VPA) is eager to work closely with government regarding the proposed new law on tobacco control.

In a statement, the association said that the vaping industry should be seen as a partner to the health agenda in South Africa and that, should all smokers move to harm-reduced vaping products, the impact is bound to be extremely positive from a non-communicable disease point of view.

The proposed Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill, currently open for public comment, includes electronic devices.

But speaking for the National Department of Health on World No Tobacco Day at the end of May, spokesperson, Foster Mohale, told Health24 that while the Bill aims to regulate e-cigarettes, these won't be treated the same as regular cigarettes.  

Working 'with', and not 'against'

Spokesperson for the VPA, Fidel Hadebe, said that the association stands behind the government in the attainment of the goal of decreasing and eradicating non-communicable diseases.

As a relatively new industry in SA, representing the interests of the vaping industry as a whole, the VPA is guided by three objectives:

  • The creation of appropriate industry regulations
  • Consistent, clearly defined compliance
  • Sufficient provision of up-to-date information

Improving public health

Hadebe added that the Bill presents the vaping industry as a whole, and the association in particular, with an opportunity to work with the government in its goals of promoting public health.

"As is the case around the world, there is still a lot of research and scientific work being done around vaping as an alternative to traditional smoking products such as cigarettes.

"As an industry and responsible corporate citizen, the association is fully behind this research work because it is our view, as the industry, that this presents the world with a safer alternative compared to traditional smoking products," said Hadebe.

The association's website clearly states that it doesn't make any smoking cessation or health claims.

The proposed Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill is open for public comment until 9 August 2018 and promises strict measures, should it be promulgated as it currently stands.

Image credit: iStock

 
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