Photo via Flickr Vaping360

New smoking laws set to extinguish vaping in South Africa

E-cigarettes won’t escape the new smoking laws.


Photo via Flickr Vaping360

The Control of Tobacco and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill is set to pull the plug on e-cigarettes and vapes in South Africa.

The Department of Health is waging war on cigarettes – but it’s not just the conventional use of tobacco which stands to be fired – electronic cigarettes, and its derivatives, are going to be hit with the same legalities.

The use of electronic cigarettes has been branded by loyalists as the less harmful way to consume nicotine. Staunch vapers praise the electronic devices for weaning them off traditional cigarettes.

E-cigarettes and the tobacco bill

However, the jury is still out on whether inhaling aerosol vapour is less harmful than tobacco smoke. A multitude of studies provides conflicting health reports, with the main medical consensus pointing to further long-term trials in establishing firmer facts.

Well, there’s one organisation which isn’t waiting for detailed forensic reports on the harmful effects of vapour inhalation – that’s South Africa’s department of health.

Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is cutting through the smoke of tobacco and vapour, making it even harder for users to consume either product. The controversial bill goes as far as to dictate usage in the private home.

According to vapers and e-cigarette analysts, the trend has really taken off in South Africa due to a lack of regulation – because tobacco isn’t being burnt, e-cigarette users can usually get away with smoking indoors, leaving those sucking on traditional cancer-sticks stuck out in the cold.

The cherry scented cumulous clouds which waft through the air can be an annoyance to some but are generally regarded as more pleasant smelling than cigarette smoke.

Regardless, the immunity enjoyed by vapers, along with the e-cigarette industry as a whole, will soon come to an abrupt end, as Motsoaledi dumps them both into the same legal ashtray.

How e-cigarette smokers will be affected

While some workplaces and establishments have already attempted to curb the use of e-cigarettes indoors, the new smoking legislation will not only make it illegal to smoke inside but also restrict the use of any cigarette near buildings and public spaces.

There will be no more ‘smoking only’ areas. So forget about those foggy looking glass cubicles in restaurants.

Also, no more advertising – nothing on the boxes, or display cabinets. This is a worrying factor for the e-cigarette sector, as advertising forms the foundation for the entire industry.

Generally, nicotine addicts will smoke a tobacco cigarette regardless of what box it comes out of, while e-cigarette users are known to be fiercely brand conscious due to the competitive advertising strategies enjoyed by the industry to drive sales.

Speaking to 702 Talk Radio, Zodwa Velleman, CEO at the Vapour Product Association of South Africa (VPA), confirmed that the proposed smoking bill would have disastrous effects on the e-cigarette industry.

The VPA says that the current e-cigarette market in South Africa is worth more than R1 billion and supports 4000 fulltime jobs.