The Senate bans vapers in Mexico because they are harmful to health, but without regulation the door to the black market is open

To vape or not to vape, that is the question. In Mexico, two years ago, the import of vapers was banned by presidential decree. In June 2021, the Supreme Court overturned the ban because, in its opinion, undermined the free development of personality.

For this reason, the ban now has a new path: eliminating the legal import of devices of Congress. The Senate approved the new law on general import and export taxes and it reads that vapers “are definitely harmful“and that its emissions in aerosol form”could even be comparable to the health threat posed by common combustible cigarettes“.

Devices may contain metals such as cadmium, nickel, copper, tin, lead, silver and aluminum, as well as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acrolein, compounds that can be ingested while vaping. To the letter, the prohibited text “electronic nicotine delivery systems, similar nicotine-free systems, electronic cigarettes and vaping devices for similar purposes“.

The vaping conversation

The discussion about vape centers whether or not it is an alternative to conventional cigarettes. On the one hand, there is no combustion, so the emission of ingested toxic substances is reduced. There are even those who argue that people who are in the process of quitting often use vapes to help them quit gradually, but there is not enough evidence to say for sure.

On the other hand, there is also evidence that young people who use vapes may eventually migrate more easily to conventional cigarettes, and it does not help that, according to the World Health Organization, there are substances of vaping advertised as nicotine-free which, in fact, they are not.

In fact, the World Health Organization has a guide on vapers and it reads that “there is no doubt that they are harmful to health and are not safe“. They are particularly risky if used by adolescents given the addiction produced by nicotine and the potential for vaporizers to be a method of later cigarette consumption. According to the WHO, governments should restrict advertising, promoting and sponsoring similar products.

The problem is that it’s a long way from restriction and lack of promotion to prohibition, especially considering the black market in Mexico. ‘Mexico City and the Vaping World’ said in September 2021 that the sale of vapers had skyrocketed in Mexico after their importation was banned by presidential decree and Philip Morris said banning vapers altogether would only encourage the illegal market. It was precisely the discussion in the Senate where the majority of parties said they were against the ban and they were in favor of the regulation.

What we are doing is leaving distribution in the hands of the black market instead of responsible companies that can be sanctioned, import them, pay taxes, pay salaries, and we push this issue towards informality and l illegality, as happened in the case of marijuana“Senator Luis Ortiz said.

On the other hand, it has been argued that the ban will stop the marketing of vapes in Mexico, including those that include flavors for “hook children, boys and teenagers who will later use other types of drugs“Senator Lilia Valdez said.

The law passed by the Senate It still needs to be approved by the Chamber of Deputies.. Even if the import ban on vapers is upheld, their use is not prohibited in Mexico, a loophole that the Senate has been told will also help foster the black market.

Picture 1 E cigs

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