Ban on E-Cigarettes and Nicotine Pouches in Bangladesh

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Ban on E-Cigarettes and Nicotine Pouches in Bangladesh
Bangladesh plans to ban e-cigarettes and nicotine pouches as part of a proposed amendment to its tobacco control law.

On September 1st, Filter reported that Bangladesh is set to ban e-cigarettes and nicotine pouches. The Ministry of Health has drafted a proposed amendment to the Smoking and Tobacco Products (Control) Act of Bangladesh, which has been reviewed by the cabinet and is now awaiting parliamentary approval.


Since 2019, the United States has been grappling with a series of lung injuries related to the use of e-cigarettes or e-cigarette products. As a response, the government has been contemplating a ban on e-cigarettes, but later found that these incidents were predominantly caused by the usage of counterfeit and illegal products.


If the proposed ban is approved, anyone found vaping e-cigarettes, regardless of the nicotine content, will face a fine of 5000 BDT ($46). The sale, production, import, export, storage, and transportation of e-cigarettes will also be prohibited, with penalties including higher fines, three months of imprisonment, or both. Larger-scale operations or repeat offenses will face longer prison terms.


This amendment will also prohibit the addition of flavors to tobacco products, increase fines for smoking in public places, and impose further penalties for the sale of tobacco without a license.


The proposed ban, which equates e-cigarettes with traditional cigarettes, is supported by organizations such as the Bangladesh Medical Association.


Nafis Farhan, a member of the Bangladeshi E-cigarette Advocacy, has warned that banning e-cigarette devices would have disastrous consequences for individuals attempting to quit smoking. He attributes the persistently high smoking rate in the country to the limited availability of smoking cessation tools such as e-cigarettes.


Michael Randall, Director of the World E-Cigarette Enthusiasts Alliance, expressed that the proposed ban signifies a missed opportunity to reduce harm and poses a setback to public health.


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