Tuesday, 22 September 2020 19:43

 

Photo Credit:Getty Images.

The Vapour Products Association of South Africa (VPASA) will host its second diginar on Wednesday, 30 September. It follows the success of the first in the Vaping Conversations series, introduced in August, with a view to address the widespread misunderstanding and misinformation around vaping and electronic vapour products (EVP)

Amid th.e global discussion around legislation of EVP and other heat-not-burn products, the second diginar will focus on policy and regulation. This is especially topical in the South African context as the government moves to promulgate the Control of Tobacco and Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Bill (2018).

The prohibition of tobacco sales during the lockdown period presented evidence that prohibition doesn't work, as demand will always be fuelled, even if via the illicit market. Now, with the imminent promulgation of the Bill, health organisations and tobacco control lobbyists are taking the opportunity to exaggerate the harms associated with smoking - without acknowledging the benefits of harm-reduction products such as EVP. 

Is this contributing to an important lost opportunity to promote EVPs? Should the government not be seeking innovative ways to decrease demand via education and information about smoking alternatives, such as vaping? Would this not align more effectively with its commitment to the World Health Organization's (WHO) Framework Convention of Tobacco Control? And are EVPs (and their benefits) getting lost in the noise of the tobacco control lobby? 

All these questions, and more, will be on the agenda during this virtual discussion which brings together various stakeholders in the fields of harm reduction, tobacco control and public health. The session will be followed by a live Q&A with the panellists.

When: 3 – 4.45 pm (SAST) on Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Topic: Electronic Vapour Products (EVP) Policy and Regulation

Panellists:

• John Dunne, Director of the United Kingdom Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA), will offer insight into the pillars that guide policy and regulation in the UK

• Andrew da Roza, a qualified addictions psychotherapist, will discuss EVP policy and regulation from an Asian perspective 

• Dr Lorenzo Mata, President of Quit for Good, a non-profit advocacy group in the Philippines, will reveal how that country went from banning EVP to regulating it

• Dr David Abrams, a professor at the New York University Global School of Health, will look at future prospects of EVP regulation in the United States

The panel will be moderated by Dr Delon Human, co-founder and director of the Africa Harm Reduction Alliance (AHRA), with opening and closing remarks by Asanda Gcoyi, CEO of VPASA. 

Free registration for the event can be accessed here and participants are invited to join the conversation on social media using the following hashtags:

#VapingConversations 

#VapeWithVPASA 

#VapeFacts

"The EVP industry is still very much misunderstood – by politicians, the media and the public. EVPs are an established and new technology that delivers nicotine to the user without the combustion of the tobacco leaf and inhalation of tobacco smoke," says Gcoyi. 

"It only makes sense for the two to be regulated separately, but we understand that this requires some education and some paradigm shifts. As VPASA, we invite the public, media and regulators to engage with our resources to learn more about the industry and the harm-reduction benefits of vaping from world-renowned experts in various fields."