While businesses and people continue to embrace rapidly evolving technologies, governmental policies have been slow to catch up. More often than not, policies that do not fully realise the benefits of disruptive technologies can deepen the social inequalities within society.
This past week, prominent researchers from the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and France presented new findings that confirm what vapers across the world have known for years: vaping works to decrease smoking rates. Titled Vaping Works. International Best Practices: United Kingdom, France, Canada and New Zealand, the paper illustrates how the adoption of harm-reduced approaches towards e-cigarettes and vapour products led to a decrease in smoking rates twice as fast as the global average. Over a six-year period, the four countries reduced smoking by an average 3.6% – more than twice the global rate which recorded a reduction of 1.5%.
“This new research cements what millions of vapers already know – vaping is a harm-reduced alternative and can lead to higher rates of smoking if supported by the correct regulatory frameworks,” says Asanda Gcoyi, CEO of the Vapour Products Association of South Africa (VPASA).
“VPASA has previously welcomed evidence-based regulation and accepts that public health discourse requires a carefully considered set of regulations to safeguard public health interests. We hope this paper will further persuade the Department of Health in South Africa to consider this approach.”
The paper by Christopher Snowden (Institute of Economic Affairs, UK), Patrick Coquart (Fiscal Competition and Economic Freedom, France), Louis Holbrooke (Taxpayers’ Union, New Zealand) and Prof Ian Irvine (Concordia University, Canada), can be accessed here
and was presented in the same week that VPASA released a report detailing the economic impact of the vapour industry in South Africa, and the potential economic and job losses that would result should proposed legislation to regulate vapour products with tobacco go ahead.