Concerns rise as E-Cigarettes gain foothold

April 24, 2024 10:48 am

[Source: ETR]

E-cigarettes, or vaping devices, have become increasingly popular among young people in Fiji, gradually replacing conventional cigarettes, says Minister for Health Dr Atonio Lalabalavu.

Speaking at the World Health Summit’s Regional Roundtable on Preventing Uptake of E-cigarettes, Lalabalavu says the growing trend can be attributed to E-cigarette’s perceived appeal and alleged health benefits.

He adds despite claims that e-cigarettes are a safer option, they present significant public health risks.

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[Source: Ministry of Health & Medical Services – Fiji/ Facebook]

Dr Lalabalavu says the regulatory framework concerning e-cigarettes in Fiji is complex, and prospective importers must complete a detailed submission process.

He says the current legislation in Fiji is comprehensive regarding requirements that the proposed importer has to submit before being allowed to trade.

WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, Dr Saia Ma’u Piukala, says the trend is not accidental.

Dr Piukala says it is driven by the tobacco and e-cigarette industries’ intentional and targeted marketing strategies.

Dr Piukala warns e-cigarettes are addictive and usually contain nicotine which is sometimes in amounts higher than in conventional cigarettes.