South Korea Considering Banning Vaping Promotions
Ban Is The Latest In A Series Of Crackdowns Against The Industry
The coronavirus crisis has brought the planet to a standstill, overburdening healthcare systems and bringing the world economy to a halt. As everyone braces for the worst still to come, some public health officials are prioritizing vapor products over the pandemic, killing thousands of people each day.
The State Council of South Korea announced a proposal to ban the use of promotions and discounts by vapor product manufacturers and retailers. The proposal will come before the National Assembly to be debated and voted upon.
This follows similar moves by the South Korean government to restrict or limit the sale and use of vapor products among the public. The country’s Health Ministry had previously launched an investigation into the ingredients in vapor products, and the Army announced a ban on using vapor products on base shortly thereafter.
The move is expected to further stress an already strained industry and is directly expected to impact the country’s two largest players, KT&G and Juul Labs. Strict lockdowns and misattributed fears of exacerbating symptoms amid the crisis has ultimately strained the global vaping industry as a whole.
The State Council of South Korea announced a proposal to ban the use of discounts and other promotions by vapor manufacturers and retailers. The proposal is set to go before the National Assembly for a vote. Officials have stated the move is designed to help protect public health by limiting the sale and use of vapor products, falling in line with prior enforcement actions by authorities.
Previously, the Ministry of Health and Welfare had announced an investigation into the ingredients used in vapor products and came out to urge the public against their use. Shortly following this announcement, the South Korea Army announced a ban on the usage and possession of vapor products on base.
KT&G corp, local industry leader and manufacturer of Lil Vapor e-cigarettes, has stated that they disagree with the proposal but will cooperate with any government policies or regulations. The proposal is expected to further strain an already struggling industry, with many retailers forced to shutter or face dramatic declines in sales following strict lockdown and social-distancing orders.
Critics of the measure believe it directly operates against the best interests of public health by restricting access to safer alternatives to tobacco, which have been directly demonstrated to exacerbate coronavirus symptoms. Forcing people toward cigarettes or cheaper black market alternatives may further burden an already overwhelmed healthcare system.
Vaping may be the greatest tool in helping people quit smoking, being both an effective cessation aid and reduced harm alternative to tobacco. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that vaping was more effective than traditional nicotine-replacement therapies in successfully aiding cessation.
Data shows that as little as 3% of smokers are successfully able to quit without the use of a cessation aid. Research published in the British Medical Journal found that vaping was twice as effective in successful cessation than any other method tested.
Vaping is responsible for saving thousands of lives throughout the world each year. According to a study from University College London, researchers found that vaping was responsible for helping up to 70,000 British smokers quit in just 2017 alone.
In addition to the aforementioned benefits, there has been no evidence of long-term harm to users of vapor products as well. A study published by the National Academy of Sciences found that vaping is less harmful than smoking and that there are no known long-term health effects associated with prolonged usage.
The South Korean government’s proposal to ban vaping promotions is a perfect representation of the misguided priorities of some public health officials. Despite daily death tolls and emerging hotspots throughout the country from the coronavirus pandemic, some regulators feel that vaping is somehow a point worth focusing on, let alone prioritizing.
Members of the South Korean vaping industry and community must join together to speak out against such actions. Access to safer alternatives to tobacco during this crisis offers a number of clear public health benefits and may reduce additional stress on an already strained healthcare system.
What are your thoughts regarding South Korea’s move to ban promotions by vaping companies? Do you feel the government is unfairly targeting the industry during a time of public health crisis? We would love to hear from you in the comments below, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive all the latest vaping news!
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