Although the vape market is booming, there are still major differences in how vaping is marketed throughout the world. In Europe and in the United States, for example, e-cigarettes are readily available. They can be found in specialized shops, supermarkets, or tobacconists. Nonetheless, such easy access to e-cigarettes – and sometimes even the authorization to sell it – is not permitted in all countries.
Tunisia is one example, which is currently at the centre of a debate surrounding e-cigarette legislation. Many Tunisian citizens who would like to become involved in the vaping market believe the current legislation is too strict.
Currently, only the National Board of Tobacco and Matches (RNTA) is authorized to sell vaping products. Indeed, Tunisian customs have recently raided the premises of multiple e-cigarette product resellers and confiscated the illegal merchandise.
A petition to normalize the sale of e-cigarettes
Tunisian citizens are becoming fed up with the repression of the sale of e-cigarettes, and they have launched a petition to reclaim the right to participate in this flourishing market. Written as an open letter addressed to Tunisia’s major financial and commercial institutions, this petition intends to promote free trade for anyone interested in the vaping market.
« We, the undersigned, support this petition, whose purpose is to stop the monopoly currently given to RNTA […] for the exclusive importation and distribution of e-cigarettes and all related products. We further request the implementation of a legal framework that allows any vendor who wishes to develop his or her business activity in the e-cigarette industry to be able to do so legally, as defined by the regulatory authorities.”
The open letter highlights the benefits of the e-cigarette in relation to traditional cigarettes. Moreover, it expresses the desire to expand the sale of e-cigarettes in order to provide an alternative to tobacco.
This petition seems to be related to health policy, but it must also respect Tunisian regulations. Most notably, future vendors must not sell vaping products to minors, and they must also agree to pay customs taxes.