Health minister Veronika Skvortsovam said that Russia has been striving to reduce local smoking rates, and justified this proposed tax by inaccurately stating that e-cigarettes are drawing people to take up smoking. “The manufacturers of these products are actually pulling (people) into a new malicious campaign, we need to resist,” she said.

Vaping products were to be regulated separately than cigarettes

Russia’s health minister is justifying this proposed tax by inaccurately stating that e-cigarettes are drawing people to take up smoking.

In 2018, Russia’s Minister of Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov, had announced that Russia was preparing to categorize vaping products differently than tobacco products, and therefore regulate them separately.

The Russian government has “taken the initiative to separate these devices into a separate category because they are radically different from traditional cigarettes and tobacco,” announced Minister Denis Manturov at the time. This motion was commended by  public health experts, who have been incessantly pointing out that any product regulations should be relative to risks.

“Electronic devices are safer. Many experts, including Western experts, even articulate a figure: electronic means of nicotine delivery are 95% less harmful than conventional cigarettes. The number itself can be discussed, but the fact that the misdeeds are much less obvious. Therefore, the regulation of traditional tobacco products and electronic means must be unambiguous,” said Manturov at the time.

Russia endorsed the use of e-cigs for smoking cessation

The minister had also pointed out that Russia’s Ministry of Health was onboard with this motion, and was urging smokers to switch to the safer alternatives. In relation to the impending regulations, the Minister had said that these should include restrictions on selling the products to minors, and on their use in schools. However a year on, the tone of the Health Ministry seems to have changed.

Read Further: Reuters

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