E-cigarettes invade Zim

HARARE - Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have invaded the Zimbabwean market, providing technologically-advanced smoking to local consumers.

A local company, Vapour Blue, is behind the launch of the product first developed a decade ago by a Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik.

Vapour Blue managing director Kudakwashe Gwasera says the product is a safer option for the traditional cigarettes.“But what is an electronic cigarette is the frequently asked question by most Zimbabweans. An electronic cigarette is a way out of the smoking habit and also a healthier alternative to the usual traditional way of inducing tobacco,” said Gwasera.

An electronic cigarette is made up of a built-in battery that powers an electronic heating element located in the vaporiser, which draws liquid from a cartridge onto the element. The cartridge solution is usually a mixture of, nicotine, glycerin propylene, flavourings, and glycol, turned to steam and inhaled through a mouthpiece. Most e-cigarettes look like a regular tobacco cigarette and others like the hookah pipe.

According to Gwasera, since the introduction of the product in 2013, cigarettes have been distributed online, through a local retail chain outlets and service station convenience stores.

Although official statistics on tobacco smoking and morbidity in Zimbabwe are scarce, at least six million people succumb to smoking-related conditions globally every year.

Stakeholders in the health sector in Zimbabwe and beyond are pushing for a ban on tobacco advertising and funding arguing cigarettes are normally sold as a desirable social habit.

While electronic cigarettes are said to have helped more people stop smoking than any other smoking cessation products sold, health boards remain sceptical.

World Health Organisation said; “The safety of the electronic cigarette is illusive, noting that it is impossible to know what effect they may have on the body because the chemicals used in electronic cigarettes have not been fully disclosed and there is no adequate data on their emissions”.

Gwasera revealed his company is liaising with the ministry of Health to find ways of regulating the electronic cigarette since it is still a new product in Zimbabwe.

“We were given authority to market and distribute our products by the ministry of health and regulatory measures are still to be put in place,” he said.

Comments (2)

vapor is water - in lungs mmm??? hameno

dickmore - 19 February 2015

The pricing regime of the e cigas is far far way above the recommended retail price, it will be a flop. Our local traders are a greedy lot.

reason - 19 February 2015

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