Updated December 12th, 2017.
The laws regarding smoking cessation claims are pretty hairy all over the world, not just in South Africa as we originally shared (scroll down to read original post).
For instance, in the United States, vapor companies are prohibited from making the claim that their products will help you quit smoking at all. Nevertheless, most companies make overtures toward this by providing a clear series of steps down from full-strength nicotine, similar to the way nicotine patches are used to wean people off of the addictive effects of nicotine over time.
Healthcare & Vaping
Part of the problem with turning electronic cigarettes into prescription products is that many smokers have no interest in going to see a doctor before attempting to give up cigarettes. They have been told for years that they need to stop smoking, but their doctors offer little in the way of support when it actually comes time to give up the substance. Plus, health insurance can be tricky when it comes to smoking cessation programs and products, meaning that that extra doctor visit could cost more money and yield nothing in the way of results.
Even most doctors would contend that they would rather have risk reduction options openly available to their patients than failing to reach their patients altogether because of an unnecessary prescription. That’s not even to mention the fact that many doctors are concerned about the effects of secondhand smoke, which could be further reduced with vaping technology.
Are Vape Shops Really Breaking the Law?
For now, vapor retailers continue to walk a fine line with regulators and there are plenty of threats to their products as states and local governments try to tighten things up. We have already seen a number of outrageous laws get thrown around, ultimately to be discarded because they are impossible to enforce. But that won’t stop legislators from trying over and over to implement new regulations on vapor sales.
Part of the problem is not that the regulators are trying to change the sale of these devices directly. Instead, they are “reclassifying” these products behind closed doors using questionable research to justify their rulings. It takes a large body of retailers and users of e-cigarettes to stand up together against these classifications, which are unfairly targeting the vapor industry.
It is understandable that regulators would be taking a hard look at these products to determine whether or not they are good for public health, but when the evidence overwhelmingly states that these products are safer than traditional tobacco products, it is counter-intuitive that they should be ruling against them.
The good news is that it seems like vapers and retailers are standing up for themselves and creating advocacy groups to work for better legislation in their areas. It may be years before legislation efforts stabilize and things become easier for vapor companies to work with. For now, it is encouraging that so many people are speaking up and doing what they can within the confines of these new laws – even if the laws themselves are confusing and difficult to navigate without fear of extra fines.
Originally Published on July 29th, 2014.
New regulations about nicotine suggest this is true, but e-cigarette manufacturers are fighting back.
Last year (2013), the South African Medicines Control Council enacted regulations naming nicotine as a Schedule 2 or Schedule 3 drug. By the letter of the law in South Africa, scheduled substances can only be purchased in pharmacies. However, the threat of lawsuits by electronic cigarette manufacturers kept the regulations from being enforced.
A Schedule 3 classification would mean that electronic cigarettes would require a doctor’s prescription to purchase and should not be done over the counter. E-cigarettes, however, are easily purchased in malls, gas stations and online.
Although doctor-prescribed e-cigarettes are uncommon, a company is developing an inhaler device that will deliver a precise physician-approved dose of nicotine that will help tobacco smokers break their habit. The device will work to dispense a carefully sized (physician-prescribed) dose of nicotine daily. This product will require you to consult with your physician.
The difference is that a prescription would only be needed in cases where nicotine is intended for human medicinal uses—i.e. as an aid for smoking cessation. Therefore, nicotine is labeled a Schedule 3 drug when used for medication but not when used recreationally.
E-cigarettes used for recreational use do not make any medicinal or health claims or are not marketed for such use.
The easy answer then is, no, electronic cigarette manufacturers are not breaking the law by selling their products through retail outlets. While it is true that electronic cigarettes are a great smoke-free alternative, almost no e-cig company suggests that their product can help smokers quit smoking.
The best part of vaping electronic cigarettes is you get the nicotine your body craves without the chemicals that are found in tobacco smoke, they provide you the freedom to smoke indoors (rather than facing the harsh elements) and you’ll never get bored with the variety of flavor choices you can choose from.
Regardless of politics, for those who no longer want to smoke tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes offer a tobacco and smoke-free alternative. For those who are interested in learning more about electronic cigarettes, browse our blog and knowledge center to for an introduction to the world of electronic cigarettes and vaping. And if you’re ready to give it a try, take a look at our inventory of custom e-juice, or stop by one of our physical locations today!
Gianna Del Monte is the Brand Manager at VaporFi. She has been in the vaping industry since June 2015 and has extensive experience in successfully managing and marketing a variety of new vapor product launches. Originally from New Jersey, Gianna has lived in the Miami area for the last 5 years.