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The proposed tobacco and e-cigarette regulation bill had initiated a public commentary period that expired on the 9th of August. Renowned tobacco harm reduction crusader Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos was amongst those who submitted comments. He pointed out that sadly, the bill fails to differentiate between e-cigarettes and combustible tobacco cigarettes, in fact e-cigarette use is referred to as smoking, rather than as vaping.

As a result of this, e-cigarettes would be subjected to the same restrictions as cigarettes in relation to marketing, advertising and use restrictions. In his letter Farsalinos explained why classifying e-cigarettes as tobacco products just because they contain nicotine is nonsensical. “It  makes no more sense to argue that nicotine-containing e-cigarettes are tobacco products than to argue that biodiesel is a vegetable product because it is derived from plants”, he pointed out.

“It  makes no more sense to argue that nicotine-containing e-cigarettes are tobacco products than to argue that biodiesel is a vegetable product because it is derived from plants.”Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, Researcher, Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, Greece

This bill would send the wrong message to the public

The researcher added that the current bill also makes possible the introduction of health warnings on e-cigarettes, pointing out that this would be sending the wrong message to the public. “All these proposals will result in misinformation and misconceptions among smokers about e-cigarettes, and will discourage and prevent them from switching to a substantially less harmful alternative.”

South Africa’s Proposed Tobacco and Vaping Regulations

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