Future of E-Cigarette Regulation in Russia

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Future of E-Cigarette Regulation in Russia
New regulations on e-cigarettes in Russia, including a proposed tax on e-cigarette liquid and a potential ban on flavored products.

According to a report from Russian Teacher's Journal on October 8th, restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes are becoming increasingly tighter, with future regulations currently being considered. Of particular concern is a newly proposed bill, which seeks to impose a consumption tax on e-cigarette liquids by 2024, has been submitted to the State Duma. Additionally, a ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes may come into effect as early as next spring. While manufacturers strongly believe that these restrictive measures will only fuel the expansion of the black market, experts from the Higher School of Economics at the National Research University of Russia (Цессифон) hold a different view.


According to Larisa Popovich, director of the Institute of Health Economics at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, some representatives in the medical field are advocating for harm reduction. They believe that if patients cannot quit smoking, they should at least switch to less harmful products, such as e-cigarettes, which do not burn tobacco leaves and therefore do not produce carcinogenic combustion by-products. Some countries are now prescribing nicotine alternatives.


However, experts point out that e-cigarettes require heating liquid and inhaling aerosols. Therefore, the main issue is the difficulty of fully controlling the composition of the vaping mixture. The harm to smokers depends on what is actually added to the heating liquid, including which molecules are included in its composition. Some additives are likely to be toxic or allergenic, sometimes even anesthetics. Consequently, it is necessary to impose strict regulations on this market. We need to prevent the use of e-cigarette products by minors.


According to Dr. Vasily Frasov, a medical doctor, tobacco consumption in Western countries has significantly decreased over the past 30 years. Smoking has been regarded as an undesirable behavior, and tobacco manufacturers must overcome this societal change. They have decided to introduce alternative methods for nicotine delivery and tobacco consumption, creating a substitute market.


After all, it takes years to fully understand the impact of a new product on health, even if it can be launched within a month. In order to combat nicotine and tobacco substitutes, it is necessary to treat them on par with tobacco products. This could potentially include increasing prices, restricting the use of various flavors, or completely prohibiting the use of flavors in tobacco and e-cigarette products.


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