BENDSTA calls for scrapping vape ban from draft tobacco control bill

Bangladesh Electronic Nicotine Delivery System Traders Association on Monday voiced their opposition to the newly proposed amendments in the draft tobacco control amendment bill, which includes ban on e-cigarettes or vapes.

They made the demand in a press conference at a hotel in Dhaka.

The draft amendments suggested a ban on e-cigarettes or vapes, under which production, import, export, storage, sale and transportation of e-cigarettes or their parts will be prohibited.

BENDSTA president Masud UZ Zaman said that vaping was proven as ‘quitting tool’ from smoking by different international studies and banning vaping products will harm Bangladesh’s goal of becoming a tobacco-free country by 2040.

The organization put a three-point demand to the health ministry, including recognising vaping as a ‘quitting tool’ and separating it from tobacco products like cigarettes.

‘Research by UK Health Security Agency (Public Health England) found that vaping is 95 per cent less harmful than cigarette smoking. It is surprising how policymakers can ignore such an important finding,’ Zaman said.

He said that governments of developed countries like the UK, EU countries, New Zealand and Canada, have recognized vaping as an effective tool for quitting smoking. Vaping can help reduce smoking in Bangladesh. It should be regulated under specific guidelines so that it can play an important role in making the country tobacco-free.