Big news for RELX.

JEDDAH — Relx International, the multinational vape firm that markets one of Asia’s best selling electronic cigarette brands, announced a new agreement with entities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to advance the sale and distribution of vape products in the country. 

“This is an incredibly important partnership for RELX International, and we’re thrilled to be working with SAF Trading Agencies who will leverage their extensive KSA distribution network to make the brand widely available nationwide for our adult consumers,” said Fouad Baraka, the general manager overseeing Relx’s regional market of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Algeria. 

“Our aim is to drive awareness and sales, as well as our corporate messaging to our target audience, adult smokers who would otherwise continue smoking, across the region,” he added, via a press release sent to Vaping Post and other vaping industry news outlets. 

Baraka added that Relx’s focus on the Middle East and North Africa region is in line with global vaping industry’s push into emerging and growing markets. 

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the region’s largest and most prosperous markets, hence we are delighted to be partnering with SAF Trading Agencies, which will inevitably enable us to thrive within the region,” adds Baraka, via the same press release. 

Vaping in Saudi Arabia and other countries like it isn’t necessarily illegal by national statute. However, there has been recorded data showing that accessing these sorts of alternatives to hookah or cigarettes (both common in the MENA region) have proven challenging. 

The use of a regulated electronic cigarette or vaping device is considered less harmful than smoking cigarettes. Public health agencies like Public Health England in the UK, and even the CDC in the US, recognize the harm reduction characteristics of electronic cigarettes and other types of vapes. 

Saudi Arabia has a rampant epidemic of tobacco use across the country, given that behaviors such as smoking is a characteristic of the local culture. 

However, the introduction of electronic cigarettes to countries dominated by strong legally binding moral codes could prove effective in reducing the rate of local smoking related deaths. 

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Michael McGrady is a columnist for Vaping Post's English edition. He is a critically acclaimed journalist with awards and recognition from across the industry. He was a finalist for ECigClick's annual vape awards in 2019 and 2020, a KAC Tobacco Harm Reduction Scholarship Fellow in 2019, among other honours. He is also the host of Vaping Weekly, the Post's podcast. All articles express his own opinion and do not necessarily reflect the Editor's view.