The bill was tabled in Parliament on Friday as the ministry has equated the electronic cigarettes as a potential gateway to nicotine addiction due to their chemical composition as well as the fact that their usage simulates smoking cigarettes.
Other stipulations that the bill covers is the packaging and warning labels on the cigarettes and is in adherence to the European Union directives concerning tobacco products sales, marketing and production.
The bill addresses both electronic cigarettes and traditional cigarettes, including graphic color images of the damage that smoking can cause your physical body as well as a warning list of further health concerns printed on the package such as “Smoking causes nine out of 10 lung cancers,” “Smoking can kill your unborn child” and “Stop smoking, keep on living for your loved ones.”
Smokers, or “vapers,” of the electronic cigarettes feel that this move by the Health Ministry groups them with traditional smokers and will deny them the opportunity to an alternative to tobacco smoke products and the “choice of avoiding tobacco smoke,” according to ekathimerini.com.
Over the past several years there has been contradicting reports and studies of the safety and long-term health consequences of electronic cigarettes.
In fact, according to a study last year by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in the United States, smoking electronic cigarettes can lead to some other consequences involving undesirable habits such as excessive drinking, since most people drink when they smoke socially.
With many contradicting studies there is not a clear response to the long-tern effects smoking electronic cigarettes has on consumers or those who inhale second-hand vapors.
The Health Ministry drafted the bill with much objection from electronic smokers who said that the government should have conducted more research and consulted scientists and researchers on the subject of electronic smoking before drafting a bill that equates them with tobacco users.