According to the British “Daily Mail” reported on December 20, the World Health Organization report pointed out that as of July 2023, 34 countries including Mexico, Brazil, and Norway have banned the sale of vapes. Another 87 countries, mainly in the West, have restricted their sales. For example, the sale of certain flavors and online sales are prohibited. In 2020, 79 countries have bans in place.
The world’s largest vape market – the United States is no closer to a national ban, but there are signs that states are changing their stance – five states have banned the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. The World Health Organization recently called for a ban on all flavors of e-cigarettes and urged more urgent action to limit their use. At the same time, the organization noted that 74 countries do not have relevant regulations.
While in areas where vapes are banned, the devices – and a variety of fruit flavors – are still available for purchase due to weak enforcement. According to statistics, about 11 million adults in the United States use vaping, accounting for about one-fifth of all adults. However, among adolescents and young adults, utilization is as high as one in four in some age groups. Tobacco companies claim that vapes are safer than traditional tobacco and greatly reduce health risks. However, there is growing evidence that substances produced by vapes are harmful to the lungs and increase the risk of heart and lung problems.
Director-General TedrosAdhanomGhebreyesus said earlier this week: “Children are drawn in at an early stage and fall into the trap of using e-cigarettes and can become addicted to the smoke tar.”
He urged countries to take strict measures to prevent people from becoming addicted and protect their citizens, especially children and young people. Dr. Laudiger Krech, director of Health Education at the WHO, said: “E-cigarettes are targeted at children through social media and influencers and are available in at least 16,000 flavors. Some products even use cartoon characters and are beautifully designed, which is popular with the younger generation.”
In the past three years, six countries have banned the sale of all e-cigarettes – Cape Verde, Laos, Nicaragua, Norway, Turkey and Vanuatu. Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan has banned the import of e-cigarettes and their sale and distribution, as previously stated: “They get rich by hurting our people, and that won’t happen to us.”
In Norway, all new tobacco and tar products are banned from the market, but they are seeking to relax this restriction. The health department says e-cigarettes need to be available to people to help them quit smoking but plans to refuse to sell fruit, vegetables, and fruit flavors.
During the same period, China chose four other routes to remove restrictions on vaping: Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Palestine. For Egypt, the country with the highest number of smokers in the Middle East, about one in five adults smoke. To help us quit smoking, the country lifted its ban on the sale of vapes in 2022.
In the United States, policymakers are under pressure to do more to monitor the sale and availability of e-cigarettes to children. All e-cigarette companies should apply for a license before selling their products to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, implementation of the rule has been patchy. Although the FDA has never approved flavored e-cigarettes, a variety of flavors are widely available on the market. The FDA said flavored e-cigarettes would not be authorized without “very specific evidence.”
Five US states ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes – California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island, as well as several cities. San Francisco has imposed a stricter ban. In 2019, the district banned the sale of all e-cigarettes and sought to curb their use in the city. In addition, eight states – Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Vermont – prohibit the online sale of e-cigarettes. However, many experts point out that more action is needed to prevent adolescents from being exposed to and addicted to cigarettes and tar.
Current data show that nearly 8 percent of middle and high school students use e-cigarettes, or about 2.1 million children, primarily using flavor devices. A quarter of 12th graders admitted they had used an e-cigarette at least once in the past year. The number is down significantly, from 2.55 million in 2022, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls a “huge improvement,” but experts affirm that more needs to be done.