Bangladesh must keep e-cigarettes legal if it wants to achieve its goal of becoming a tobacco-free country by 2040, according to tobacco harm reduction activists.
Speaking during a webinar organized by the Bangladesh-based Voices of Vapers and reported by The Daily Star, several experts addressed the government’s recent proposal to ban vapor products, heat-not-burn devices and other cigarette alternatives in a new amendment to the country’s tobacco control legislation.
Delon Human, president of Health Diplomats, said there is no evidence for the National Tobacco Control Cell’s statement that nicotine in vapes is more harmful than cigarettes.
“There needs to be a credible harm reduction strategy as practiced by many developed countries,” he added. “The authorities must consider regulating a safer alternative, such as vape, and make it accessible to smokers wanting to quit.”
Schumann Zaman, president of the Bangladesh Electronic Nicotine Delivery System Traders Association, said not recognizing vape traders and vape users as stakeholders will have major consequences as many of these vapers are using e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool.
John Dunne, director general of the U.K. Vaping Industry Association, said vapes should be regulated separately because vapes and cigarettes are different products.
“Vapes are far safer and a proven method of nicotine-replacement therapy [NRT]. Regulating vapes will help smokers who are trying to quit have access to vapes,” he added.
“Countries such as the U.K., France, New Zealand and Canada have successfully lowered smoking rates by using vaping as NRT. Banning vapes will lower the number of smokers trying to quit.”