Health Dept says willing to regulate e-cigarettes
The National Health Department says it’s still willing to regulate e-cigarettes, but will only be doing so once it has assessed how harmful they are to smokers.
JOHANNESBURG - The National Health Department says it’s still willing to regulate e-cigarettes, but will only be doing so once it has assessed how harmful they are to smokers.
On Wednesday, during a vapour product association panel discussion, medical doctors and researchers argued that there is no real evidence to prove that vaping is indeed healthier than a normal cigarette.
There are mixed views on the safety of e-cigarettes and their long term effects because scientists do not have evidence and data to be able to prove their long-term effects.
Proponents of vaping have argued that unlike a combustible cigarette, vaping does not burn tobacco and create chemicals that make the risk of getting cancer much higher.
The Health Department's Joe Maila says that the intention of regulating e-cigarettes would be to ensure that the products are not a free-for-all in the country.
"A lot of work has to be agreed to in order to ensure what part of e-cigarettes can be regulated."
But as one lung researcher pointed out on Wednesday, it is not yet clear if vaping has the same effects as normal cigarettes and whether the two should be considered the same.
Another challenge that regulators may face is that vapes are not technically a cigarette, consumer product or a supplement, making it difficult to categorise.
(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)