Debating about vaping


Durban – What’s extra dangerous to younger folks ‒ cigarettes or vaping?

“Young people are of the view that vaping is different from cigarettes but it can be more harmful than cigarettes,” Fathima Hussain, director of the South African Nationwide Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (Sanca) in Durban instructed the Unbiased on Saturday yesterday.

A vape retailer who forbids underneath 18-year-olds entry to his store believes the alternative: that vaping is 95% to 98% more healthy than smoking and that younger individuals who have been vaping have been indulging in a lesser evil.

“I would rather not have kids smoking (cigarettes),” stated Craig Stuart.

He added that the youth have been a small part of his vaping clients, who enter his Essenwood outlet by ringing a doorbell, and could also be requested for his or her id paperwork.

“People are focussed on the negative, saying that the young are not taken into consideration, but the youth are a very small sector of the market.”

Stuart added that, out on the streets there’s a large parallel market, born throughout final yr’s lockdown when vaping was lumped with tobacco and banned.

Sanca’s Hussain burdened the risks of vaping.

“Due to the high nicotine levels, vaping is extremely addictive and young people are already more susceptible to addiction because their brains are still developing and they are more prone to habituate to using drugs and alcohol,” stated Hussain.

“Addiction can impact on the ability to focus.”

“Nicotine is highly addictive and can slow brain development in young people and affect memory, concentration, learning, self-control and mood. Hence, it increases the risk of the other types of addictions later in life”.

Stuart, who says the conversion from smoking tobacco to vaping contributed considerably to saving his personal life, stated it was clearly higher for folks to neither vape nor smoke tobacco.

“Unfortunately, everyone has a vice.”

Stuart stated his trade had taken a cue from the tobacco and alcohol trade by selecting 18 as its voluntarily-imposed lower off age.

“If one is older than 18, one is old enough to make the decision to smoke or vape,” including that he doubted nicotine robotically led to the usage of medicine.

“If a person has an addictive personality, then maybe but I highly doubt it.”

Hussain stated that vaping, having originated as a smoking cessation had “quickly become a popular and addictive product in its own right”.

“The recent rise in popularity of young people moving to vaping is strongly attributed to packaging and advertising. Young people are after innovation and are attracted by sleek design and ease of use,” she stated.

Stuart additionally had a beef with the world of massive enterprise, saying that the foyer towards vaping in the USA had been pushed by income losses because of it eroding the recognition of tobacco.

“As soon as you bring money into the equation, nobody cares about health.”

The UK, alternatively, had embraced the advantages of vaping, even permitting vaping outlets to be in hospitals.

VPASA CEO Asanda Gcoyi stated that prematurely exposing younger folks to an addictive substance corresponding to nicotine was incorrect.

“As an association, we want to play our role in ensuring that these products are kept out of the hands of minors. We want to create a responsible industry and most importantly, educate people who may not know that vaping is not for people who have never smoked, but rather for smokers seeking a less-harmful alternative to cigarettes.”

Gcoyi stated the launch of the marketing campaign was delayed by the pandemic.

“Across the globe, there is growing concern over the easy access to vaping products by young people.

“As an industry that is not regulated, we thought it would be important to lead the charge and be proactive on the continent about advocating that these products are not for young people.”

This stance had been embedded in VPASA’s code of conduct since its inception, he stated.

Greater than 65% of the South African vaping trade holds VPASA membership.

He stated the affiliation had created a number of different tips.

“These guidelines address the fact that people access vapour products at physical stores as well as online.

“With physical stores, we’ve provided all our members with guidelines in terms of what types of signage need to be visible, for example, point-of-sale signs that say no sales will be made to under-18s and posters that tell customers they may need to provide ID when purchasing vapour products.

“So if a customer looks young, the seller has the right to verify their age by asking for ID, and knowing that upfront as a customer is important.”

On-line EVP retailers have additionally been requested so as to add age gateways to their portals that may require customers to enter their date of delivery, stated Gcoyi.

“Over and above the double age verification and the payment through credit cards, we have asked online retailers to partner with courier companies that will verify a customer’s age on delivery and refuse to deliver should the customer be under-18.”

“These are just a couple of examples of what the industry is doing.”

Gcoyi stated communication with members indicated underage utilization was not presently a major problem.

“We want to educate consumers on the importance of having the choice to use less-harmful alternatives to cigarettes, educate retailers and parents on the importance of preventing young people from accessing these products that are harmful to their development, and educate the larger public about why these products exist.”

The Unbiased on Saturday

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