Vaping level 4

Photo: wikimedia.commons

Lockdown: What Level 4 means for vaping in South Africa

With the hopes of smokers dashed for Level 4, the vaping community also asked for clarity on when they will be allowed to purchase the goods again.

Vaping level 4

Photo: wikimedia.commons

Smokers were within touching distance of getting their cigarettes back on Friday. But, despite the president’s promise that ciggies would go back on sale when we enter Level 4 of lockdown, it was announced on Wednesday that the move had been reversed. This decision had an adverse impact on vaping, too.

Will vaping be allowed in Level 4 of lockdown? No, we’re afraid not…

Electronic cigarettes (EVPs) – otherwise known as vapes – are featured in the same legal wording as other tobacco products in the National Disaster Act. While smokes are banned, alternatives like e-cigs will also remain hidden from the shelves. It’s a move that has caused upheaval in South Africa.

The government are already facing legal action for their last-minute switch-up, and an online petition to lift the ban has gained thousands of signatures on Thursday. The Vapour Products Association of South Africa (VPASA) have also weighed into the debate, demanding that the ANC reconsiders its position.

Smokers made to wait until next lockdown stage

VPASA has blasted the “short-sighted” decision and believe that the extended prohibition on cigarettes and tobacco products will “likely cause more harm than good”: With vaping now banned until Level 3 lockdown regulations are implemented – which could still be some weeks away – nicotine consumers have been cut-off without any express consent.

“We’re extremely disappointed by the reversal of the decision to allow vaping products to be sold once we enter a Level 4 lockdown on 1 May. This also means that the less-harmful alternative of electronic vapour products will also be banned. Restricting the sale of EVPs fails to take harm reduction into account. “

“As evidence shows, many nicotine consumers are unable or unwilling to kick the habit and, increasingly, many are resorting to vaping as an alternative. Our view is that the government should, as they had planned, allow trade of vaping products, either via shops, supermarkets and pharmacies or existing online platforms.”

VPASA statement