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E-cigarette banned in Mauritius

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E-cigarette banned in Mauritius

Ban on electronic cigarettes in Mauritius

Mauritius has recently taken a radical decision to ban electronic cigarettes on its territory, sparking debates about economic impacts and public health protection.

According to experts, the electronic cigarette is often perceived as a less harmful alternative to traditional cigarettes. Some pulmonologists even go so far as to recommend its use to smokers to help them quit tobacco. However, Mauritian health authorities have chosen a different approach, believing that ban is necessary to avoid nicotine addicts. This measure, which came into effect on May 31, 2023, aims to reduce potential health risks related to the use of these devices as well as prevent young people’s attraction to nicotine. The decision stands in the context of combating smoking in Mauritius, where 15 % of the population smokes, according to statistics. It is important to highlight that authorities have recently opened a tobacco detoxification center as part of their commitment to safeguard the well-being of the community, particularly focusing on the health of young individuals.

Economically, the ban on electronic cigarettes will certainly impact the importers and distributors of these products. In 2022, cigarette imports generated tax revenues estimated at around 6.8 billion MUR. Some question the economic motives driving this decision, as they are concerned that if smokers start using electronic cigarettes to quit smoking, it could result in a decline in state revenues.

However, it should be noted that public health remains the priority of Mauritian authorities in this debate. Despite recommendations from the British National Health Service (NHS) in favor of vaping as a tool for quitting smoking, island authorities believe there is not enough scientific evidence demonstrating that vaping is less dangerous than traditional cigarettes. They refer to the position of the World Health Organization (WHO), which considers both practices equally dangerous to health.

The ban on electronic cigarettes in Mauritius fits into a global trend towards regulating the use of these devices more. Many countries have adopted similar measures, arguing that the long-term effects of vaping on health are not yet clearly established. Smokers and users of electronic cigarettes must comply with this new regulation to avoid legal penalties, including fines and prison sentences. Consulting local authorities is recommended to obtain precise information on the laws and regulations in force concerning the use of electronic cigarettes in Mauritius.

Mias Sylvia

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