Venezuela May Ban Vape Completely, President Assessing Program Possibilities

Not long ago, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro mandated a request to evaluate the possibility of banning the sale of disposable e-cigarettes, which has raised concerns among sellers, who are supportive of regulation while at the same time defensive about the proposals, according to Spanish news agency EFE.
During this time, Venezuela developed a regulatory program for the manufacture, import, export, distribution, sale, use and promotion of disposable e-cigarettes.

Maduro said on a TV program:

“I’m going to tell our medical and scientific teams to study and analyze the possibility of banning the sale of these devices that are harmful to health and cause serious problems.

It added that the regulation is a first step and there is still a long way to go. Health Minister Magaly Gutiérrez was also asked to work on this request.

Maduro’s statement triggered shockwaves in different sectors within Venezuela, with Lérida Padrón, president of the Venezuelan Society of Respiratory and Thoracic Surgery (Sovetorax), stating that these people firmly support these regulatory measures set out by the government.

Padrón noted:

“The widespread belief that nicotine-free disposable e-cigarettes do not harm health is completely wrong.”

Unbeknownst to the businesses that sell these products, they say they live in a constant state of “uncertainty”.

Miguel Brown, head of a disposable e-cigarette store, argues that disposable e-cigarettes are addictive devices but are “less harmful” than cigarettes, and that many people use them as a “replacement” for cigarettes, or use them because of a fad.

He said:

“The audience for disposable e-cigarettes has grown over time. It’s not just because people want to replace cigarettes with disposable e-cigarettes, it’s because it’s a fad.”

He explained that the industry agreed to ban sales to minors and pregnant women, a measure implemented by many stores to avoid legal issues. However, he argued that a complete ban on sales would only hurt business and reduce employment opportunities.
It is understood that Venezuela’s Official Gazette No. 42.641 published regulations on the production, sale and use of disposable e-cigarettes, which prohibits the sale of disposable e-cigarettes to minors, and that disposable e-cigarettes may not be used in workplaces and indoor public places, including transportation.