• April 17, 2024

Argentina Asked to Repeal E-cigarette Ban

 Argentina Asked to Repeal E-cigarette Ban
Image: simonmayer

The Argentinean vapers’ association, Asovape Argentina, and the World Vapers’ Alliance have sent an open letter Argentina’s recently elected president, Javier Milei, calling for the repeal of the National Administration of Medicines, Food and Medical Technology Provision 3226/2011 banning the commercialization of e-cigarettes.

The provision banned the import, distribution, marketing, advertising and promotion of e-cigarettes. It went into effect May 6, 2011.

The letter explains that numerous studies conducted since the ban took effect have demonstrated the significantly lower risk profile and the usefulness of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation as well as the low health risk of nicotine. The signatories also argue that the ban is incompatible with respect for the individual freedom of Argentinian adults and the rights to free development of personality, information and health of users and smokers. 

“The ban violates the rights and freedoms of Argentine adults and should be repealed,” said Juan Facundo Teme, president of Asovape Argentina, in a statement. “The state is not the one to tell Argentines how to consume nicotine and should respect the decisions of individuals who choose to vape in order to consume it in a less harmful way. Moreover, all the arguments on which the ban was based have been disproved.”

Argentina has a smoking rate of 24.5 percent, the second highest in Latin America and one of the highest in the world.

“Smoking is a huge problem for Argentina, and the ban has only exacerbated it,” said Teme. “It spreads the misconception that vaping is the same or worse than smoking, makes it difficult for millions of smokers to switch to a safer alternative and has pushed thousands of vapers back to tobacco. With clear information and proper regulation of vaping, we could reduce smoking rates quickly and significantly.”

Argentina should respect smokers who choose to consume nicotine in a less harmful way.

Alberto Gomez Hernandez, policy manager, WVA

“Argentina is one of the most restrictive countries on vaping in the whole region and consequently has one of the highest smoking rates,” said Alberto Gomez Hernandez, policy manager of the World Vapers’ Alliance. “It is second only to Chile, which has just passed a law regulating vaping to allow adults to use it to quit smoking, as Brazil is also working to do. Argentina should not lag behind and should respect smokers who choose to consume nicotine in a less harmful way.”

Michael Landl, director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, added, “Argentina’s approach to vaping is outdated and irreconcilable with upholding the individual freedom of consumers. Argentina now has a great opportunity to take the lead and adopt the approach of countries like Sweden or the U.K., which respect users’ right to choose while improving public health. Sweden is on the verge of becoming the first smoke-free country thanks to this approach, and the U.K. is reducing its smoking rate rapidly. We encourage President Milei and his government to follow these examples. Vaping is not a crime and should be legalized immediately.”