The webinar reiterates that the evidence for the effectiveness of e-cigs is indisputable

The case studies clearly indicate that vapes are at least “95% safer” than combustible tobacco products and “twice as effective as traditional nicotine replacement therapies.”

Speakers included World Vapers’ Alliance Director Michael Landl, Shahriar Arifin, DGM, Marketing, Unimed Unihealth Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Rajib Joarder, Health Service Management and Policy Making, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and Schumann Zaman, President of Bangladesh. Electronic Nicotine Delivery System Traders Association (BENDSTA).

They presented findings from a recently released white paper featuring vaping-related case studies from four countries and answered questions from the audience who joined the live session. In line with statements from established health agencies such as Public Health England, the case studies clearly indicate that vapes are at least “95% safer” than combustible tobacco products and “twice as effective as traditional tobacco therapies.” nicotine replacement”.

The document pointed out that data from countries where these results are taken into account and incorporated into local regulations reflect the benefits of the products. “Countries that are adopting vaping, such as France, the UK, New Zealand and Canada, have seen smoking rates decline twice as fast as the global average,” the paper notes.

Michael Landl underlined the difference such a change in approach could make. “Progressive countries are putting regulations in place around vaping. If Bangladesh enforces vaping regulations, there could be 6 million people who could switch to vaping instead of cigarettes according to our calculations,” Landl said.

“Vapes are at least 95% safer than traditional combustible tobacco, according to Public Health England. It’s not the nicotine that kills, it’s the tar of the tobacco, said the speakers when answering the questions, ”he added.

Most vapers use e-cigs to quit smoking

Meanwhile, a small-scale focus group study conducted by the locally-based Dhaka Ahsania Mission, recommended a total ban on vaping despite finding that most participants started vaping to help them quit smoking.

Conducted between January and February 2020, the survey consisted of three focus group discussions with students from two universities: Dhaka University and North-South University. All of the students were regular vapers, and most said they preferred open-system vapes with refill tanks.

The compiled data indicated that “most [[participants] believed that there were not enough scientific studies showing that electronic cigarettes were harmful. A total of 65% said they started vaping because of the taste, and many said vaping helped them quit smoking. Despite this, the research team recommended a “comprehensive ban” on vaping for “[safeguard] the health and safety of young people and the future generation.

Bangladesh must take steps to become tobacco-free by 2040

Earlier this year, anti-tobacco campaigners said a sharp turn and strong actions are needed if Bangladesh is to achieve its goal of becoming tobacco-free by 2040. Bangladesh was the first developing country to sign the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in 2003. Two years later, in 2005, the government passed the Tobacco Products (Control) Act 2005, which was revised and amended in 2013. .

Sadly following in neighboring India’s footsteps, in 2019 a Bangladeshi health official announced a plan to ban the sale and use of vaping products and other e-cigarettes. The ban was to be incorporated into the new tobacco control policy, currently being developed by the government, the official said at the time.

Read further: The commercial standard

Bangladesh: four MPs call for a tax on tobacco and vaping

Sara H. Byrd