Another “African” country declares “e-cigarette legal”? !

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African countries have looser regulations on e-cigarettes, and as they develop, they may gradually be brought into regulatory legal management.

The big country in Africa, “South Africa”, announced that e-cigarettes will be regulated and taxed. This may be the formalization of the legal regulation draft of e-cigarettes in South Africa in 2018, and it will enter the stage of legislative supervision.

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What are the highlights?

1. South Africa plans to tax e-cigarettes and strengthen supervision.

According to reports, the South African health department announced that the public consultation on the new Tobacco Products and Vaping Bill will end on July 28. The public consultation originally set a submission deadline of June 21 to August 4, 2023. The bill aims to regulate traditional cigarettes and electronic cigarettes. Currently in South Africa, e-cigarettes are becoming more and more popular as a means of smoking cessation and consumer-grade nicotine products.

Once the new “Tobacco Products and Electronic Cigarettes Act” is passed, it means that South Africa will tax and regulate electronic cigarettes.

Moreover, the bill will focus on legislation related to nicotine and non-nicotine e-cigarettes.

At the same time, I also learned that South Africa has actually imposed a consumption tax on e-cigarette products starting from June 2023. According to the official website of the South African National Revenue Service (SARS), the Minister of Finance of the country stated that starting from June 1, South Africa will impose excise tax on e-cigarette products. According to its taxation standard, a tax of 2.9 South African rand (1 South African rand is about 0.38 yuan) will be charged per milliliter of e-cigarette liquid.

2. Packaging requirements.

According to the bill, South Africa will introduce graphic health warning labels and concise packaging standards for e-cigarettes.

3. Sales restrictions.

The South African plan pointed out that the display of e-cigarettes at the point of sale is completely prohibited; 100% smoke-free public areas are set up.

4. Vending machines are completely prohibited from selling e-cigarettes.

However, all walks of life in South Africa do not welcome the strong regulation of e-cigarettes. Many stakeholders expressed concern about the possible knock-on effects of the new bill, as the tobacco industry is currently a key engine of economic growth in South Africa. Lawmakers said the bill could lead to more people turning to the black market for illegal tobacco and job losses for those involved.

Asanda Gcoyi, CEO of the Vaping Products Association of South Africa (VPASA), said the South African government is now trying to “demonize” e-cigarettes as a more destructive product than traditional cigarettes. The new bill not only regulates e-cigarettes, but also includes them in the taxation scope of tobacco products.

The special consumption tax will have an impact on the retail sales of e-cigarettes. Barry Buchman, managing director of vaping company Vaperite, said the excise tax on vaping products has had a bad effect on retailers, and many believe it will lead consumers to the black market.

Let more people buy e-cigarette oil? Relevant people in South Africa believe that the tax policy promotes consumers to buy e-cigarette oil with the highest nicotine content and the most addictive. Because it is a more favorable option.

South Africa, the southernmost tip of the African continent.

With a population of 59 million, the number of smokers is huge. According to the findings, the number of adult smokers is high, with 25.8% of the South African population (11.1 million adults) currently smoking. Disposable e-cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular in South Africa.

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The annual growth rate of electronic cigarettes is more than 10%. There are at least 400,000 e-cigarette users. Most independent e-cigarette retailers in South Africa currently have a positive attitude towards the future market.

In terms of salary income, the average salary in South Africa is actually not low, with an average monthly salary of 2,026 US dollars (more than 10,000 RMB), second only to Morocco in Africa. Higher than Tunisia, Kenya, and Algeria. However, South Africa is a country with a clear gap between rich and poor and income inequality.

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(Salary in South Africa)

In general, e-cigarettes are currently unregulated in South Africa and can also be sold. However, e-cigarettes are not protected by tobacco product control laws or drug laws. Once in 2018, the South African government proposed the “Tobacco Product Control and Electronic Nicotine Delivery System Act”, hoping to manage vapor products in a similar way to cigarettes. Public comment, but still in draft form.

Now it seems that this new plan will be passed and implemented soon, forming a trend of including e-cigarettes in regulation and taxation, which is worthy of attention! Of course, this will be another country in Africa after Egypt announced that e-cigarettes are legal, and that e-cigarettes will be legal and have a regulatory system!

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