“We are actively working to impose a ban on the production, import and sale of e-cigarettes and all vaping tobaccos to prevent health risks,” said Shaikh Yusuf Harun, secretary at the health education and family welfare division of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Harun added that this decision has been prompted by the outbreak of “vape-related” EVALI in the US.
India’s harsh ban
Similarly, Malaysia and Indonesia have also announced such bans as a result of the disease outbreak. India has banned the sale of e-cigarettes last October, setting in place a maximum imprisonment of up to one year alongside a penalty of Rs 1lakh ($1,400) for first-time violators. While repeat offenders could face up to three years of jail and a penalty of Rs 5lakh ($7,000).
Additionally in India, anyone caught storing e-cigarettes would also be punishable with up to six months in prison and a 50,000-rupee ($700) fine. “These novel products come with attractive appearances and multiple flavors and their use has increased exponentially and has acquired epidemic proportions in developed countries, especially among youth and children,” said the government in the release.
Misinformation informing policy
Sadly, the enactment of such measures is nonsensical, especially when taking into consideration that the US CDC has confirmed that the disease has been caused by the consumption of illegal THC products, not regulated vaping products.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s e-cigarette ban will be incorporated in the new tobacco control policy, currently being drawn up by the government, said Harun, after which it will be submitted to parliament for approval.