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Are e-cigarettes safer option when it comes to smoking?

The Vapour Product Association is having a panel discussion on regulating vaping products and the safety thereof.

FILE: A variety of electronic cigarette flavours are viewed for sale at Vape New York, an electronic cigarette store on 10 June, 2013 in New York City. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG – Medical doctors and researchers have mixed views on whether e-cigarettes truly are a safer option compared to tobacco cigarettes.

The Vapour Product Association (VPA) is having a panel discussion on regulating vaping products and whether they are a healthier option.

Government says they are the same and has expressed its intention to regulate accordingly.

Dr Kgosi Letlape says vaping should not be advertised as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes but rather as widening the options in the market, taking socio-economic conditions into consideration.

But health activist Clive Bates says over regulating e-cigarettes might have the opposite effect.

The panelists have been discussing how the government could gather anecdotal evidence to help it decide whether vaping should be regulated in the same way as tobacco products as well as the tax implications of doing so.

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)

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