Nepal Government Initiates Process to Ban Vape

Nepal bans vapes

The Nepalese government has taken the first steps towards banning electronic cigarettes, also known as vapes, in the country. The National Health Education, Information and Communication Center (NHEICC), operating under the Department of Health Services, has reached out to several ministries to seek their cooperation in implementing the ban effectively.

Keshav Raj Pandit, the director of NHEICC, has called upon the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, the Department of Customs, and the Department of Commerce, Supplies, and Consumer Protection to collaborate in enforcing the provisions that prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes.

Legal Basis for the Ban

The ban on electronic cigarettes is based on Subsection 4 of Section 28 of the Tobacco Products Control Regulation 2071 BS. According to this regulation, no individual or entity is allowed to produce, import, sell, distribute, consume in public places and public transport, or promote and advertise electronic cigarettes through media channels.

Health Concerns and Gateway to Tobacco Use

Dr Bhakta Bahadur KC, the senior health education administrator at NHEICC, emphasized that electronic cigarettes pose health risks similar to conventional cigarettes and can serve as a gateway to tobacco consumption. He stated that using electronic cigarettes can lead to nicotine addiction and mimic smoking habits, ultimately encouraging individuals to start using tobacco products.

Vaping has been linked to various health issues, including cardiovascular and neurological problems, as well as oral health concerns. Moreover, it not only affects the user but also poses risks to those in their vicinity.

Growing Popularity and Import Data

Electronic cigarettes are available in a wide range of flavors in Nepal, and their popularity has been on the rise. Data from the Department of Customs reveals that Nepal imported 3,223,687 electronic cigarette devices in the last fiscal year, with the majority originating from China (3,175,815), followed by the United States (265,640), and the United Arab Emirates (12,967). Imports also come from India, the UK, and other countries.

According to Dr KC, the annual trade volume of electrical appliances in Nepal is estimated to be around Rs 32 billion, with imports increasing by 200 times over the past five years. The cost of a vape in Nepal ranges from Rs 10,000 to Rs 13,000.

With the enforcement of directives from the Ministry of Finance and Communications, the government aims to effectively ban electronic cigarettes in Nepal, addressing the growing health concerns associated with their use.

News source: MyRepublic

Matthew Ma