UAE Legalises Vaping

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Fraser Clarke

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Electronic vaping products are to be legalised in the United Arab Emirates from mid-April, prompting further debate about their effectiveness.

Whilst e-cigarettes have been shown to be less harmful than tobacco, doubts still remain over how much more effective they actually are, whilst concerns about the healthier image of e-lites might lead to a rise in the number using them it’s been warned.

Government officials who have been discussing whether or not to legalise the devices, have revealed that a growth in the unregulated market prompted them to act, with strict regulations ensuring that they come with health warnings and meet strict safety standards.

Globally the e-cigarette market is growing at a rate of around 20% annually, with many proponents arguing that it can be a great way to help people quit smoking tobacco.

Despite this however many other groups have been vocal in their opposition to ‘vaping’ products, with different flavours making them particularly appealing to younger people.

This was especially a worry for Dr Hassan Mohamed Aref Shabana, consultant respiratory physician at Zulekha Hospital, Sharjah, who told ‘The National’: “In countries where vaping is allowed, school age pupils who were never smokers before have taken up vaping.

“This increases the number of those with nicotine addiction at a young age, who will possibly shift towards regular cigarettes later in life.

“Vaping may increase nicotine dependence and addiction as it does not have a lasting smell. It can be used in cars, offices, planes and trains, without the smell or social stigma.

“As well as that the long-term health damage may only be seen after many years of use.”

Is the UAE right to legalise the selling of electronic cigarettes, or should more be done to eradicate smoking completely? Let us know via our social media channels.