A recent law proposal has sparked a wave of anger across the professional vaping community in South-Africa. Instead of the expected measures to better distinguish legislation between e-cigs and traditional cigarettes, the government has changed tack. It appears now the authorities are applying new and stricter regulations on all vaping products.
The proposed law was submitted by the Minister for Health, Aaron Motsoaledi. The goal is set tighter controls on electronic cigarettes and heat-not-burn tobacco products. Vaping products will have to be marketed with neutral packaging, and with an age restriction of 18 years.
Electronic cigarettes would be removed from automatic distributors and would be banned in public spaces. For the Vapor Product Association, these measures would spell doom for the vaping industrin in South-Africa.
E-cigarettes given the evil eye in SA Government
According to the association dedicated to industry professionnals, these measures were in no way negotiated. Association president Kabir Kaleechurn wishes for nothing more than the industry and Ministry for Health to work together.
The government is accused of placing overly restrictive regulations on the industry. The proposed law in no ways considers the positive impact of e-cigarettes. The pro-vaping crowd believe these measures will be counter-productive. They risk turning many away from e-cigarettes, even smokers looking to quit who could be deprived of a life-saving substitute.
The SA government stands by its position that e-cigarettes are a “toxic” and therefore dangerous product. For Lorato Mahura, with the health department, the mere presence of nicotine in certain e-liquids justifes the means. If the law is passed, South-Africa will become one of the least accommodating nations to vaping-enthusiasts.