Vaping industry slams new tobacco Bill
Publish date: 09 July 2018
Issue Number: 781
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: South Africa
Vaping activists say the latest tobacco Bill is ignorant and not based on scientific evidence. The vaping industry has said it wants to be seen as a partner in SA’s health agenda because it is less harmful than smoking. According to a Saturday Star report, the Africa Harm Reduction Alliance’s (AHRA’s) Dr Delon Human noted the government wants to treat e-cigarettes in the same way that tobacco products are treated, falsely conflating vaping with smoking tobacco and, equally falsely, attributing the rise in the vaping industry to tobacco companies. In May, the Cabinet approved the draft Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill, which proposes a ban on smoking in all public buildings – and within 10 metres of buildings. The Bill extends the definition of smoking to include electronic delivery systems (e-cigarettes) and heat-not-burn tobacco products. According to Human, vaping and e-cigarettes are less harmful than cigarettes. ‘For the sake of population and individual health, it is imperative that vaping is recognised as an alternative to combustible tobacco products, within the broader context of tobacco harm reduction,’ Human said, arguing that new research showed that vaping products are 95 to 99% safer than combustible smoking. The AHRA’s Dr Kgosi Letlape added the current Bill was based on 2015 information and takes a moralistic position.