BENDSTA for scrapping vape ban from draft Tobacco Control Amendment bill

Bangladesh Electronic Nicotine Delivery System Traders Association (BENDSTA) has said the ban on vaping products will work against the prime minister’s vision of creating a tobacco-free Bangladesh by 2040.

BENDSTA organised a press conference in Dhaka Wednesdays to discuss the proposed vaping-related clauses in the Smoking and Usage of Tobacco Products (Control) Act.

The draft amendments include a new 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: “Banning vaping products will harm Bangladesh’s goal of becoming a tobacco-free country by 2040.

“Research by the UK Health Security Agency (Public Health England) found that vaping is 95 percent less harmful than cigarette smoking. It is surprising how policymakers can ignore such an important finding.”

BENDSTA proposed a separate category for products like nicotine replacement therapy and vaping. It urged the health ministry to remove the ban on vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery system from the draft amendment.

The association also requested the ministry to have discussions with its members before taking any decision related to vaping and to create separate categories for vape products which are different from traditional tobacco products like cigarettes.