The World Health Organization (WHO) has argued on different occasions that the use of vapers and electronic cigarettes are just as harmful as a traditional cigarette. Based on the investigations carried out by the WHO, several countries have sought to ban these devices; Now, Colombia joins them with a bill that proposes to put certain restrictions on vapers and electronic cigarettes.
On August 16, the bill was filed that seeks to update Law 1335 of 2009, which places certain restrictions on the sale and consumption of traditional cigarettes. It establishes the rule not to sell cigarettes to minors, in addition to preventing their consumption in closed spaces. Now, the bill seeks to extend these standards to electronic devices as well.
Said like this, the Bill intends to:
- Prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes and vapers to minors.
- Establish restrictions for the consumption of electronic cigarettes and vapers in closed and public spaces.
- Include graphic warnings about health effects on the packaging of these electronic devices
The Project was filed by the representative to the chamber Julián Peinado together with social organizations such as RedPapaz, the Alliance for Colombian Children, the Colombian League Against Cancer, the Colombian League against Heart Attack and Hypertension, Educar Consumidores, among others. This time it is expected to have positive results, since the project already has at least 80 signatures by congressmen.
“The Law does not seek to persecute consumers, but rather to protect them against the effects of tobacco consumption and exposure to smoke. Science is proving it: vapers and electronic cigarettes carry risks, just like traditional cigarettes. It is necessary to act now to protect citizens, especially children and adolescents”, clarified Julián Peinado.
This initiative would be added to the warnings made by the Ministry of Health in resolution 032 of 2019. In it, local entities are asked to strengthen pedagogies regarding this issue, taking into account the recommendations made by the WHO regarding vapers and electronic cigarettes. And it is that, in Colombia, 15.4% of students between the ages of 12 and 15 have had experience with these devices, according to the National Survey of Tobacco Use in Young People (2017).