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March 29, 2024 by

Moroccan Health Minister Vows Action to Tackle Teen E-Cigarette Epidemic

Morocco’s Minister of Health Khalid Aït Taleb has sounded the alarm on the rising trend of e-cigarette use among the country’s teenagers. Responding to a written question posed by the parliamentary member of the Justice and Development Party, Mustapha Ibrahim, Aït Taleb emphasized the urgent need to address this pressing public health concern. He cited data from a national study conducted in 2021, revealing that teenage girls aged 15 to 17 are the largest demographic of e-cigarette users, with a rate of 5%. Even among boys of the same age group, e-cigarette usage remains significant, standing at 2%.

March 05, 2024 by

Don’t block escape route for smokers, say activists

Activists caution that the Kenyan Government's ban on vapes and nicotine pouches could worsen smoking-related harm. The Campaign for Safer Alternatives urges evidence-based policies, highlighting the reduced health risks of these products compared to cigarettes. Encouraging safer alternatives, like in the UK and Sweden, may be more effective in reducing smoking-related deaths. The group stresses the importance of regulating, not banning, these products to aid smokers in quitting and save lives.

February 22, 2024 by

Health ministry begins process to tighten tobacco laws

The Ministry of Health is updating the Tobacco Control Act to regulate nicotine products like e-cigarettes and pouches due to their popularity among Kenyan youth. The revisions aim to strengthen regulations and address gaps to protect public health. Dr. George Githuka highlighted the need to anticipate future tobacco products and enhance collaboration with partners. The WHO warns of the harmful impacts of tobacco on health and socio-economic well-being. The updates will also restructure the compensation fund. The current law mandates funding for tobacco control programs, which has not been implemented.

February 01, 2024 by

Watch: Mandela Asked This Harm Reductionist, “How Can I Be Helpful?”

Dr. Kgosi Letlape has been a passionate and relentless activist on the side of “the underdog,” as he puts it, for most of his life. An ophthalmologist in South Africa, Letlape is the former chairman of the South African Medical Association and a co-founder of the Africa Harm Reduction Alliance. In our filmed interview, he told Filter how South Africa’s devastating HIV epidemic has profoundly changed him, shifting him from “not just activism of talking, but of action and making things happen.”

January 08, 2024 by

Call to change smoking and vaping taxes in South Africa

South Africa needs to strike a balance between the perspectives of both economists and health experts as to how tax rates should be determined for nicotine products, says Marius van Oordt, an expert in indirect taxation in developing countries. Over the past several years, the world has seen an evolution of tobacco and nicotine products, particularly evident in electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS or e-cigarettes). To accommodate such a change, experts have been presenting contrasting views.

December 04, 2023 by

Warning over new smoking laws for South Africa

Gauteng residents are divided on the hotly contested draft Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill, with businesses warning that implementing the new laws will have negative consequences for the country’s township economy. The Portfolio Committee on Health recently held three public hearings over the Bill in Gauteng, and much like the public engagement in Limpopo, the North West, and Mpumulanga, there was support and rejection of the Bill. The Bill broadly aims to introduce the following:

  • Declare indoor public places and certain outdoor areas 100% smoke-free.
  • Ban the sale of cigarettes through vending machines. [...]

November 16, 2023 by

Malawi ‘s ratification of WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control comes into effect

With this historic decision, Malawi joins a community of 182 other Parties to the Convention, affirming the country’s high-level political commitment to combatting the global tobacco epidemic and prioritizing public health and well-being. The Convention, which Malawi ratified in August 2023, is a crucial international treaty designed to address the severe public health risks associated with tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke. Its ratification by Malawi demonstrates the country’s determination to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke.  

October 25, 2023 by

Adopt harm reduction approaches in public healthcare, Nigeria, others told

Stakeholders across Africa have called on the Nigerian government and other governments across Africa, to adopt harm reduction approaches and to integrate harm reduction principles and practices when regulating public health challenges. Harm reduction refers to interventions aimed at reducing the negative effects of health behaviours without necessarily extinguishing the problematic health behaviours entirely or permanently. The President of the African Medical Association and the Association of Medical Councils of Africa, Dr. Kgosi Letlape, described harm reduction as a more transformative strategy than prohibition-based policies.

October 23, 2023 by

Morocco to Hike Import Duties on E-Cigarettes

Rabat - Morocco is set to increase customs duties on e-cigarettes under the new 2024 budget. The import duties would be applicable to disposable electronic cigarettes from 2.5% to 40%, according to the presentation note for this project. The increase aims to apply the same import duty rate to disposable electronic cigarettes as that applied to other electronic cigarettes for the fiscal year 2023, as stated in the note published on the Ministry of Economy and Finance website.