The local vape ban has resulted in a myriad of illegal vape shops across the country that sell the product and its accessories, often smuggled into the country.
Egypt has very high smoking rates and adult smokers have been gradually switching from smoking to vaping, as a way to quit or reduce harm. The country is also known for having a major problem with counterfeit products in general, and the e-cigarette market is no different.
The sales, distribution, and importation of e-cigarettes had been banned locally since 2015, when the Ministry of Health issued a harsh measure in accordance with a 2011 decision taken by the Specialized Technical Committee of Drugs.
This ban has resulted in a myriad of illegal vape shops across the country that sell the product and its accessories, often smuggled into the country. Last year, the Industry Committee of the House of Representatives in Egypt adopted a new legislation against fake branding and products, whether local or global, imposing severe punishments on producers.
The Middle East is warming up to tobacco harm reduction
Meanwhile with the lifting of this ban, Egypt joins other Arabic markets including neighboring Saudi, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, in endorsing the products. “The lifting of the ban highlights the Egyptian authorities’ progressive approach to e-cigarettes and sets the stage for the creation of a regulated market rich with business opportunities, through serving the demand for easily accessible, quality products by legal age (adult) consumers across the country,” wrote RELX International, a leading player in the segment, in a statement dated April 24.
“The decision by Egyptian authorities reflects its commitment to support legal businesses in the country while cracking down on the illicit trade of those products, in line with what we are seeing in an increasing number of markets around the globe,” said Robert Naouss, REXL International’s external affairs director for the Middle East, Northern Africa and Europe.
Read Further: Tobacco Reporter