The bill, introduced late last year, hints at a possible explicit ban on edible flavors, among other enforcement measures.
In an effort to dissuade its residents from consuming nicotine-containing products, South Africa announced a new bill at the end of 2022 aimed at better regulating the tobacco and e-cigarette markets. The bill, which was approved by cabinet and tabled in parliament, would distinguish tobacco products described as “containing tobacco” from e-cigarette products, which are defined as products “designed to produce an aerosol or vapor that is inhaled by the user. However, despite this distinction, the bill suggests that most of the measures that apply to tobacco would also apply to e-cigarettes.
As a result, “neutral packaging” should appear on the shelves of all stores that sell e-cigarette products. In addition to this, the product must now be invisible to visitors. E-liquids, on the other hand, will be entirely at the disposal of the Ministry of Health, as the bill gives it the power to explicitly prohibit “any substance or ingredient that produces a color, characteristic taste, odor or smell. Specific effects on consumers”. In other words, liquids that do not please the department may be banned without any kind of trial.
Asanda Gcoyi, CEO of the Vapor Products Association of South Africa (VPASA), is outraged by the impending new regulations. He also said that the tobacco industry had not been consulted recently on e-cigarettes, despite the government’s claim that the bill introduced in 2018 “has been the subject of extensive consultations with various stakeholders, including the tobacco industry”. Any comments made at the time are also said to have been ignored.
Response to South Africa: The country hopes that laws on e-cigarettes should be strengthened.