Amendment of law crucial to ban e-cigarette

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Staff Reporter :
The use of e-cigarettes and vaping among the youth in Bangladesh is increasing alarmingly.

It has created grave concerns over health hazardous among the people.

Due to strategic promotion, the popularity and usage of these products has reached an alarming level.

Moreover, many young people are using these as a fashion. Despite the surge in its usage, no immediate actions have been taken to contain the situation.

A total of 32 countries, including India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Singapore, have already banned the sale of these products, while many other countries are actively working to ban it.

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Dr SM Mustafa Zaman, Professor of Cardiology at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) said, “Similar to cigarettes, e-cigarettes also pose significant health risks.

These products contain liquid nicotine and are mostly used by the youth. Many countries have banned e-cigarettes through legislation to safeguard public health.”

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has proposed to make the Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (Control) Act, 2005 (amended in 2013) stronger by banning electronic nicotine delivery systems, heated tobacco products, and similar items. Additionally, the proposed law prohibits import, export, storage, sale and transportation of e-cigarettes or their parts. This proposal is currently awaiting final approval in the cabinet.

With a view to eliminating the proposed ban on e-cigarettes and vape products from the draft amendment to the tobacco control law, Voice of Vapers (VoV) and Asia Harm Reduction Alliance (AHRA) have recently organized a summit and roundtable, orchestrated by the grantees and representatives of Foundation for a Smoke-free World (FSFW), a Philip Morris International (PMI) sponsored front group.

A number of representatives from different relevant government bodies also participated in the events, which were covered extensively in mass media and social media platforms.