Ongoing proposals for vaping bans, increasing regulations and more research have cropped up in the vaping world this April. We’ve also got more clarity on the vaping laws following UAE’s change from a full ban on e-cigarettes to making them legal. On top of that, in Wales we’ve seen a new and perhaps slightly unusual tactic for dissuading smokers from lighting up outside of hospitals.
With vaping and smoking alternatives having been a hot topic in the US for a few years now, the FDA has just approved the iQOS. Created by Big Tobacco leader Philip Morris, the iQOS is a heat not burn device. While they’re now legally able to be sold in the US, the FDA has not yet approved the request to market the device as safer than smoking. While heat-not-burn products have been found to be less harmful than combustible cigarettes, they still contain tobacco and many of the harmful chemicals associated with smoking.
In Hawaii, proposal SB1009 that requested flavoured e-liquids should be banned, has been rejected for now. Instead of banning flavours there’s been a new proposal for a tax on vaping products as well as increasing the fine for selling to minors.
Despite concerns that vaping is a gateway to smoking, figures indicate that teen smoking is at an all time low. With vaping being discussed in parliament, one of the concerns that gets raised time and time again is whether they’re attracting a new generation of nicotine users. While there’s a reported increase in teens trying vaping, the technology has only become readily available in the last decade and there’s been no correlation found between trying vaping and becoming a smoker.
An unusual method has been used to discourage people from smoking outside the University Hospital of Wales – a buzzer. The red buzzer sits inside the hospital and anyone who notices someone smoking outside the building can activate it. When pressed, recordings requesting the smoker to put their cigarette out play through speakers. While slightly disconcerting, the new initiative has discouraged smokers and reduced the amount of smoke around the building.
Following the change in legislation earlier this year, UAE now allows the sale and use of vapes. We’ve now got some more clarity on the laws surrounding their use. Like in the UK, they will still be regulated in the same way as smoking. That is to say – you can’t smoke indoors and vapers must use communal smoking areas. While some may criticise that being in a smoking area can make it more difficult for transitioning smokers, it’s a step in the right direction from the previous total ban.
On a similar note, the cluster of islands that makes up Seychelles have now also lifted the ban on e-cigarettes. Seychelles still has a relatively high number of smokers, particularly men with nearly 34% of adult men being current smokers. The current regulations relating to tobacco products in Seychelles are that retailers must have a license to sell cigarettes which will now extend to include vaping products.