Kazakhstan Bans Vape Sales and Distribution

Kazakhstan bans vape sales distribution

Kazakhstan, a Central Asian nation of approximately 20 million people, has recently passed legislation banning the sale and distribution of vaping products, including vapes, flavors, and liquids. The law, signed by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, will come into effect 60 days after its official publication, according to the Azerbaijan-based Trend News Agency.

The move comes after years of threats from health officials and politicians in Kazakhstan to impose a ban on vaping products due to growing concerns about their potential health risks. The country has a significant smoking population, with nearly 21 percent of adults, including 37.7 percent of men, being cigarette smokers, as reported by the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction.

Kazakhstan’s decision to ban vaping products may have a ripple effect on other Central Asian countries. Neighboring nations such as Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are also considering implementing similar bans, although the likelihood of their success remains unclear, as reported by Tobacco Reporter. The region’s stance on vaping products varies, with Turkmenistan already prohibiting the sale and importation of vapes, while Tajikistan allows and regulates them.

As a former Soviet republic, Kazakhstan declared independence just days before the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. in 1991. Despite being a constitutional republic, the country was dominated by a single authoritarian president for 28 years following its independence. However, recent years have seen some democratic reforms take place.

The ban on vaping products in Kazakhstan is likely to have a significant impact on the region’s approach to tobacco harm reduction and the vaping industry as a whole. The most recent estimate of vaping prevalence in the country is 1.7 percent, but this data from 2014 may no longer be reliable.

The official presidential website quoted by Trend News Agency states that the new law will prohibit “the sale and distribution of nonsmoking tobacco products, vapes, flavors, and liquids, as well as their advertising.” The exact details of the ban and its enforcement remain to be seen as the law comes into effect in the coming months.

Matthew Ma