There is a need to structure this debate in a way that speaks to the right parts. Preventing youth vaping and smoking remains a key and noble objective. It would be highly unfortunate and regrettable, though that, in attempting to reach this objective, we relinquish efforts to assist the over 8 million smokers in South Africa to quit smoking. It would be morally repugnant to penalise smokers in furtherance of our vendetta against the tobacco industry.
The World Health Organization (WHO) updates its Model List of Necessary Medications (EML), a list of medicines deemed essential by WHO experts. This list gets updated every two years.
As South Africa prepares to participate in the COP9, we ask for an earnest consideration of the scientific evidence supporting vaping as a harm reduced alternative to smoking. We also ask that the voices of ENDS users who have successfully moved away from smoking with the aid of these products be taken seriously.